The cruise industry continues to expand with leaps and bounds as new ship builds come on the horizon for dozens of cruise lines the latest of which is Costa, a division of Carnival, and well a company that gained notoriety when the Costa Concordia hit a reef and capsized on January 13, 2012 causing 32 deaths and injuries. The beleagured cruise line is building two new ships according to a press release by its parent company Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), today, July 28.
The vessels are part of an agreement with Meyer Werft to construct four next-generation cruise ships with the largest guest capacity in the world. In June, Carnival Corporation announced the other two ships included in this multi-billion dollar contract are destined for its German brand, AIDA Cruises. Costa’s ships will be built by shipbuilder Meyer Werft at the company’s shipyard in Turku, Finland, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. The ginormous vessels will weigh in a more than 180,000 gross tons with a capacity for more than 6,000 passengers.
Carnival Corporation’s four next-generation cruise ships for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will be the first in the industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough. Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, these new ships will use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship’s power both in port and on the open sea – an industry-first innovation that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support the company’s aggressive sustainability goals. “These new ships will be phenomenal additions to our fleet, and we’re looking forward to seeing our Costa and AIDA brands bring this ground-breaking new ship design to life for our guests in a way that is customized for each brand,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “As we continue enhancing our fleet, it is very important to us that every decision we make in the development of these new ships is about the guest experience, which supports our goal to exceed guest expectations and create great vacation memories for every person who boards one of our ships.”
Donald added: “Above all, these strategic investments are designed to exceed the vacation needs of our guests, but it is also important to note that these next-generation ships are an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time.”
A Carnival spokesperson explained that the new ships of Costa will prominently feature the brand’s “Italy’s finest” experience, with creative uses of space serving to enhance the overall onboard immersion in Italian culture. The ships and crew will serve as ambassadors for the finest of Italian society on the seas, enabling guests to discover Italy’s unique style, hospitality, entertainment and culinary excellence. When the new ships join Costa’s fleet it will propel the company to continue its European dominance.
Carnival’s ship portfolio includes 100 ships now operating with 219,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2018.