Carnival orders 3,611 passenger ship for P&O Cruises

The U.K. continues to be a key growth market for Carnival Corporation declared Chairman & CEO Micky Arison as the cruise giant revealed that it has contracted with shipbuilder Fincantieri to construct the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market -- a 141,000-ton, 3,611 passenger vessel for its P&O Cruises brand.

The as-yet-unnamed ship will be built at Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard at all-in cost is approximately euro 155,000 per lower berth. Carnival says "the ship will offer a stylish and innovative new design and unprecedented number of passenger facilities, along with a variety of classic and iconic features of the P&O Cruises brand." Other specifications and new product innovations will be announced at a later date.

The order marks Carnival Corporation & plc's first ship delivery for 2015, aligned with the company's strategy to construct two to three ships per year.  It currently has seven additional ships on order – one ship scheduled for delivery for the remainder of 2011, three for 2012, two for 2013 and one for 2014.

Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc's chairman and CEO, said,"P&O Cruises is Britain's number one cruise operator, synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage. The U.K. continues to be a key growth market for Carnival and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship – targeted specifically to British clientele – underscore our commitment to expanding this important cruise region."

P&O Cruises Managing Director Carol Marlow said, "This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P&O Cruises experience, with 'sophisticated wows' and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand, and equally to resonate with existing P&O Cruises passengers by giving them the 'P&O-ness' they recognise and love. She will offer 'the best of the best,' combining the favourite classic features of Oriana and Aurora, the choice and variety of Azura and Ventura, and a host of new ideas and concepts which together will deliver to our passengers the holiday of a lifetime, every time they travel with us."

Added Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono, "This order shows that the company, even in a difficult moment as today, is resolutely continuing its commitment in a particularly depressed market in order to gain whatever orders there might be, thus holding on to its position as world leader."

June 1, 2011