Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company, today announced it has signed a shipbuilding contract for a second next-generation cruise ship for its P&O Cruises brand with leading German shipbuilder Meyer Werft GmbH that is scheduled to be delivered in 2022. Similar to a fellow P&O Cruises sister ship due for delivery in 2020, this second new vessel will be the largest cruise ship to be built specifically for the British market. It will be 180,000 gross tons and will accommodate approximately 5,200 guests (lower berths). Both new ships will be registered in the UK.
The new ship is part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 19 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2022 – creating excitement in the vacation market and continuing to exceed guest expectations while accelerating demand for cruising, the fastest growing segment in the vacation industry.
The ship will be built by Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and feature the corporation’s exclusive “green cruising” design as one of the first generation of cruise ships to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) both while in port and at sea, which will significantly reduce air emissions with the shipping industry’s most advanced fuel technology.
Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience. These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.”
Added P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet. The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.
“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22 percent capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers. Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers.
“This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests.
“The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year. Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allows us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.”
Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, added: “We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”
In total, Carnival Corporation has agreements in place with leading German and Finnish shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku to build eight LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its 10 global cruise brands with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022 – two for AIDA Cruises with expected delivery dates in 2018 and 2021, two for Costa Cruises with expected delivery dates in 2019 and 2021, two for P&O Cruises UK with expected delivery dates in 2020 and 2022 and two for Carnival Cruise Line with expected delivery dates in 2020 and 2022.