Princess, Costa Asia and P&O Cruises Australia to get new ships

Costa Atlantica is one of Costa’s ships already based in Asia.
Costa Atlantica is one of Costa’s ships already based in Asia. Costa Group

The Costa Group is beefing up its presence in China and has ordered two new ships for its Costa Asia brand from Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilder. The ships, each with 135,500 gross tons and carrying 4,200 guests, will be specifically designed for the Chinese market and will be delivered in 2019 and 2020.

The Costa Group is a division of Carnival Corp.

In the same deal, two other Carnival lines will get new ships in 2019 and 2020: P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. The Princess ship, fourth in the Royal Princess class, will be a 143,700-ton ship that will carry 3,560 passengers. The 135,500-ton ship for P&O Cruises Australia will carry 4,200 passengers.

The new details were announced Wednesday. An agreement for Fincantieri to build the ships for Carnival Corp. had been announced previously, but not which lines would get the ships or what size they would be.

With the new agreement, Carnival Corp. has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.

The two additional Costa Asia ships bring to eight the number of ships the Costa Group has on order, for a total of 45,000 berths: four for the German brand Aida Cruises; two for the Italian brand Costa Cruises; two for Costa Asia. The new ships will bring the total capacity of the fleet to 110,000 berths.

Costa, which entered the Chinese market in 2006, has three ships already deployed in China and Asia year-round — Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Serena — and will add a fourth ship, Costa Fortuna, in April.