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I posted some weeks ago about an order for four very large, LNG-fuelled ships that Carnival Corp had placed with Meyer Werft. At that time it was announced that two of them would be for Aida cruises, Carnival’s successful and fast-growing German line. It has now been announced that the other two ships will go to Costa. (Perhaps ‘confirmed’ might be better than ‘announced’ as these ships’ destination was widely rumoured.)

The ships, each of 180,000 gross tons, will be delivered in 2019 and 2020. There’s also a bit more information about the number of passengers (or perhaps I’ve just noticed something). There was a bit of surprise about the maximum passenger figure of 6,600, which is very high. The new information is each ship will have ‘more that 2,600 cabins’, which I take to mean ‘between 2,600 and 2,700 cabins). This in turn suggests that normal loading – i.e. two passengers per cabin – will be 5,400 which sounds rather better than 6,600. The latter figure must relate to occasions when all cabins that can take additional occupants actually have them.

As an aside, these two orders confirm Aida and Costa’s positions as Carnival Corporation’s leading lines on this side of the Atlantic. Cruise passenger numbers have been stalled at around 1.7m in the UK for several years, and as a result both P&O and Cunard have slipped back in Carnival’s pecking order, I’m sure.

8 Responses to “Carnival LNG ships – two for Aida, two for Costa”

  1. Is it widely accepted then that the beards at Carnival Corp conspired on a European equivalent to the mother brand and decided that Costa would be it? Because Costa really couldn’t be any more different to Carnival. And that’s a shame. We need a Carnival here in Europe.

    • Tom Burke says:

      I’m not sure about that. I have a feeling that Carnival Corp are simply “following the money” – in recent years Costa and AIDA have done very well, while the UK brands have perhaps not done as well, relatively.

      It’s also the case that Costa and AIDA are very different from each other. Cruises on Costa are very multinational – while you can expect a majority of the passengers to be Italians, you’ll also find significant numbers of French, Germans, and Scandinavians, and some Brits and Spaniards. Whereas AIDA deals with German-speaking passengers only – German predominantly, with some Austrians plus German-speaking Swiss.

  2. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Yes, I think carnival simply provide big ships where passenger growth is predicted. Carnival provided Cunard with an entire fleet in the past decade,

    P&O got Ventura, Azura and Britannia. However UK cruise growth has stalled where as German and European growth is still on the increase and overtaking us.

    What bother me a little, is similar ship being allocated to completely different brands. For example, P&O now get Princess ships. I think this dilutes a brands identity a little.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Malcolm.

      What bother me a little, is similar ship being allocated to completely different brands. For example, P&O now get Princess ships. I think this dilutes a brands identity a little.

      I think it depends on which different brands. P&O and Princess have historical links, and there have been some P&O traces in the design of many Princess ships – for example, in having multiple, smaller dining rooms (a P&O ‘given’, thanks to liner history) even in the smaller ships (compare & contrast with Royal Caribbean practice). So the Sun Princess, Grand Princess and even the new Royal Princess classes have that feature, and as a result the ships don’t feel too ‘un-P&Oish’; Oceana, for example, has done very well with P&O. It’s more of an issue when you get a class spread across multiple lines e.g. the Vistas, Super-Vistas and even-more-Super Vistas with HAL, P&O, Cunard and Costa.

      • Malcolm Oliver says:

        Good points Tom.

        I wonder what other brands will eventually get these new 180,000gt mega-ships. I still feel one ship ‘class’ cannot not always fit all.

  3. Malcolm Oliver says:

    “i.e. two passengers per cabin – will be 5,400 which sounds rather better than 6,600”

    Somebody told me that Carnival, unlike most other cruise lines, positively avoid selling a four berth cabin to a party of three people or a three berth cabin to a couple. They like to maximise the full passenger capacity of their ships.

    I have no idea if this is true, but carnival do provide some excellent fares to the American masses, maybe this is part of how they do it?

    • Tom Burke says:

      Could be. Their results are certainly good; and I’m very pleased with the performance of the Carnival plc shares I bought 18 months ago!

  4. Malcolm Oliver says:

    “two passengers per cabin – will be 5,400 which sounds rather better than 6,600. The latter figure must relate to occasions when all cabins that can take additional occupants actually have them.”

    Apparently I hear that Carnival avoid putting 3 persons in a 4 berth or 2 persons in a 3 berth etc. where as other lines are less strict. This means Carnival ships often sail above the industry standard of 104%.

    I guess that how they maintain profits are keep fares competitive.

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