CIN has learned that the Indiana-based H&P Cruise Line (formerly Cruise Partnership) is almost ready to sign a letter of intent for contracts on two new $100 million ships, with an option for two more. The yards being considered have been narrowed down to three: Wartsila, Jos. L. Meyer, and Flender.

The company intends to make cash payments of 15 percent at the signing of the contract; 15 percent at 6 months of construction; 20 percent at one year; and 50 percent upon delivery.

Each ship will have 350 cabins, for 730-740 passengers. One is expected to be based in Miami, and the other in Los Angeles. Operators will be sought for ship marine and hotel operations.