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I recently did a post about the announcement that Costa were to get two new mega-ships, each of 180,000 tons. I also said that these two, plus two sisters going to AIDA, were just four of a total of nine new ships that Carnival announced in March that they were going to order from Meyer and Fincantieri, to be delivered between 2019 and 2023. The four megaships for which we have announcements are all from Meyer, which suggests that the remaining five will be the Fincantieri component of the order. However we have no information yet as to the size or features of the ships or which lines will get them. So let’s speculate!

My first thought was to wonder which lines in the Carnival group have had ships built by Fincantieri in the recent past, and the answer is: practically all of them. Princess and P&O have done particularly well, with three ships of the Royal Princess class so far and a fourth one still under construction, and of course eleven Grand Princess class ships (as updated and amended, etc) in the past. Of the major lines, that leaves HAL, Costa and Carnival itself, and they’ve also had many ships from Fincantieri – Carnival has had the Triumph, Conquest and Dream classes all built by them, with the Carnival Vista building now, while Costa have had a number of ships that have always looked to me like derivatives from standard Carnival ships – among others there was the Magica class plus of course the five ships of the Concordia class. Finally there is the (original, Panamax) Vista class plus its various derivatives. There seem to be eleven of them, with HAL, P&O, Cunard and Costa. In fact Fincantieri has been a Carnival Corporation production line for fifteen years or more.

So who might get these new ships? Well, there are a couple of clues in the text of the press release. First there’s this statement: “The shipbuilding agreements, which include options for additional ship builds in the coming years…“. That could mean that further firm orders for additional ships in the Royal Princess and/or Carnival Vista classes are included in the total of nine. Then there’s this additional comment: “The new ships are expected to serve established cruise markets in North America and Europe, as well as newer markets, including China“. I had wondered if P&O Australia was finally going to get a new build, but I have a feeling that this comment means it won’t – new ships will continue to be deployed to North America and Europe, and older ships cascaded to Australia. The comment about China is revealing – Carnival is making a big push into China, and will have six ships there (from Costa and Princess) in 2016; also, the fourth Royal Princess ship, due in 2017, will be based there year-round. I wouldn’t be surprised, therefore, if a fifth Royal Princess class ship turned out to be included in the list, also to be based in China. Perhaps there will even be a sixth ship in the class for P&O, a sister ship for Britannia. The feedback I’m hearing seems to suggest that, some grumbles aside (mostly about the absence of the central staircase), Britannia is being well-received this year.

Of the major lines that leaves out HAL and Cunard. The former has a tradition of not having mega-ships at all – they have nothing beyond the Panamax Vistas and derivatives, and perhaps that’s how Carnival Corp want to leave them for the time being. As for Cunard, I can’t see another QM2-size liner being built – the whole point about QM2 is that she is unique, the last of her kind. I ask can’t see that a cruise mega-ship would ever work as a Cunard ship – indeed, there are the occasional question as to whether Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are ‘real Cunarders’. So I think that Cunard will be left alone this time.

That leaves the fifth ship. Perhaps something for Seabourn? – they presently have a new 40,000 ton ship, Seabourn Encore, being built at Fincantieri.

So perhaps the ‘Fincantieri Five’ will look something like this:

  • a fifth Royal Princess ship for Princess to be based in China, possibly with amendments for that markets
  • and a sixth Royal Princess ship for P&O, a sister for Britannia;
  • two more ‘Carnival Vista’ class ships, mainly for North America;
  • and a sister to Seabourn Encore.

Pure speculation, of course, but those are my best guesses. We shall find out shortly, I’m sure.

2 Responses to “Carnival Corporation's five other new ships”

  1. Malcolm Oliver says:

    Reblogged this on Malcolm Oliver's Cruise Blog and commented:
    I was going to speculate about Carnival’s new ships, but Tom has done such a good job, why reinvent the sail.

  2. Jo Walker says:

    Fascinating! I do think that Australia might get a look in at last; another Britannia WITHOUT an indoor pool is ridiculous, but Carnival seem to think Caribbean-type ships first; I reckon that we are due another liner, perhaps following a different line such as Miami.

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