Princess Cruises, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), today announced that contracts to build two 3,600-passenger ships have been finalized with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard.
The new ships – which each will have an all-in cost of approximately €155,000 per lower berth – are scheduled to enter service in spring 2013 and spring 2014. At an estimated 141,000 tons, the as-yet-unnamed ships will be the largest in the Princess Cruises fleet.
The ships’ design will be evolutionary, in keeping with the themes of the line’s newest vessels, but with some new features and innovations. For example, all outside cabins will feature balconies, bringing the percentage of balconies on the ships to 80 percent of all staterooms.
The company’s signature Piazza – the ship’s central atrium featuring dining, entertainment and retail – will be expanded, as will the popular Sanctuary, spa, and restaurants.
“We’re pleased that in this challenging economic environment, the order for these new ships is a testament to the confidence in the growth potential of the Princess brand,” said Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruises. “These new ships will include the features from our newest ships that have been so well received, and take them to the next level,” he added.
Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri, said, "We are grateful to the Carnival Group for this further vote of confidence in Fincantieri. We are proud to have met the requirements of Princess Cruises, one of Carnival's most prestigious brands, with an innovative design both from a technical and architectural point of view.”
Bono continued, "This is a highly important order for us, especially as it comes in a period of economic crisis. We succeeded in securing these orders with assistance and support of the Italian export credit companies, in particular SACE S.p.A.”
Specific amenities and design elements for the new ships will be revealed over the coming months.
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess offers its passengers the opportunity to escape completely to the top destinations around the globe, with sailings to all seven continents.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ibero Cruises, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.