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Carnival to spend $1.3 billion on 2 ships

Carnival Corp. recently ordered the largest cruise ship in its history by passenger volume, a 4,000-berth ocean liner set to be christened in 2016. The Doral-based cruise company plans to spend about $1.3 billion on the new Carnival ship and a smaller one for its Holland America line.

The yet-to-be-named ship by Carnival Cruise Lines would cost about $800 million to build. It would still be smaller than the so-called “mega ships” built by rival Royal Caribbean, which regularly sends ships out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale that can sleep 5,000 passengers. Carnival’s current fleet leader is the 3,700-berth Breeze, said company spokesman Vance Gulliksen.

Carnival contracted with an Italian shipbuilder, Fincanteri, for the new ship and the 2,700-passenger ocean liner for Holland America. The new Holland ship would be the biggest for that line, and is set for delivery in the fall of 2015. The estimated construction cost is $510 million.

While the new Carnival ship could fit more passengers aboard than the rest of the fleet, it will be physically smaller than Carnival’s Queen Mary 2 ship. The new ship will have the equivalent of 135,000 tons of enclosed space, while the Queen Mary 2 has about 150,000 tons of enclosed space.