The world’s largest cruise company is growing.
Doral-based Carnival Corp. announced plans Thursday to order nine new ships for delivery between 2019 and 2022, though the industry giant did not say which of its nine brands would use the vessels.
Other details were also absent, including the cost of the ships, their size, the number of passengers they would hold, the features they would include or the timeline for their delivery.
Carnival said it had signed a strategic memorandum of agreement with both Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and German shipyard Meyer Werft for vessels based on “next-generation ship designs.” Fincantieri will build five of the ships, while Meyer Werft will handle four. The agreements include options for more vessels in the future and are subject to conditions including financing.
“We’re excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time,” Carnival Corp. president and CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement. “Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that.”
He said the new ships will be the most efficient ever for Carnival, which owns Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn and several European brands. The vessels will be put to use in popular markets in North America and Europe as well as fast-growing areas such as China, the company said.
Before the newest ships are scheduled to be delivered, Carnival will have added 10 new vessels between now and 2018, including two ships each for Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Seabourn.
This year’s additions include Britannia, delivered earlier this month for P&O Cruises UK, and AIDAprima, coming later in the year to German brand AIDA Cruises. Carnival, which has a fleet of 101 ships, also plans to remove four vessels from its fleet.
Thursday’s news comes on the eve of the company’s release of fiscal first-quarter earnings. Carnival will hold a conference call with analysts Friday morning to discuss the results — and, likely, the new ship agreements.