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There’s been some speculation on the P&O Facebook group that P&O are to get another new ship. This is based on something told to a passenger at dinner by an officer; always a solid source of hard factual information! The story is that it will be at least as big as Britannia, possibly bigger.

Well, there has been no formal announcement about a new ship, but let’s peruse the tea leaves (again) and see if anything has become clearer. What we know is that Carnival Corporation have got seven ships currently under construction, and have also issued orders for a further nine new ships, to be delivered between 2019 and 2022, under the terms of what they’re calling Strategic Partnerships (with Meyer – four ships – and Fincantieri – five ships). That’s sixteen ships in total.

First, though, let’s look at the ships currently under construction:

  • Koningsdam, due in 2016, from Fincantieri (?), for HAL. This is the first of a new class called ‘Pinnacle’;
  • Carnival Vista, due in 2016, for CCL;
  • Majestic Princess (Royal Princess class), due in 2017, for the Chinese Market, for Princess;
  • Seabourn Encore due in late 2016;
  • Seabourn Ovation (sister to Encore), due in 2018;
  • unnamed Pinnacle class HAL ship (possibly developed a bit), due in 2018;
  • unnamed Carnival Vista class ship, due in 2018.

Clearly, none of these are for P&O, and that takes us up to the end of 2018. So let’s look at the Strategic Partnership orders, for nine ships from 2019. We know about the ships to come from Meyer – two will be for Costa and two will be for Aida. The remaining five will come from Fincantieri and its these that we have no details about. In an earlier post I referred to them as the Fincantieri Five, and I suggested that these could be as follows:-

  • 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.

Some of those details are clearly wrong, and others may be as well. We already know that Majestic Princess, which is currently building and is due for delivery in 2017 and is therefore *not* one of the Fincantieri Five is the ship set to go to China. The sister to Seabourn Encore – Seabourn Ovation – is also already under construction, or nearly so, is due for delivery in 2018, and is therefore also not one of the Fincantieri Five.

As I said above, none of the seven ships under construction are for P&O, and that takes us up to the end of 2018. Beyond that, something might be available because we’re back into the murky waters of the Fincantieri Five. I’m making a couple of assumptions as well – a) I think it’s most likely that P&O will continue to share designs with Princess, rather than take a design from CCL; and b) I’m also pretty sure that there won’t be a medium-sized bespoke ship for P&O. So what do I now think the Fincantieri Five could look like? Well, how about this:

  • two ‘Enhanced Royal Princess’ ships; one for Princess and one for P&O. It’s even possible that P&O might get the first of these – by then, Princess will have three Royal Princess class ships to P&O’s one;
  • one more Carnival Vista ship, possibly enhanced;
  • and two more ‘Pinnacle’ class ships. One of these would be for HAL, I think. Could the other go to Cunard? – they would be an enhancement of Queen Victoria / Queen Elizabeth.

All pure speculation, of course, but that’s always fun.


2 Responses to “A new ship for P&O? – not before 2019!”

  1. Joe Hamilton says:

    Totally agree with your overall assumption. It is interesting that Britannia continues to receive poor satisfaction percentiles in passenger reviews. The lack of a Promenade Deck may well contribute. I sailed on R.P. around Britain this year, thoroughly enjoyed the ship. Although too big for the itinerary. Without doubt the RP class are warm weather ships.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Joe.

      Interesting point about the RP class. I suppose these days all ships are spiritually based in the Caribbean or the Med, even if not in practice. The days of an English ship with more internal space and protected promenades/decks are gone.

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