MIAMI, Dec 12, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL; LSE) (NYSE: CUK) today announced that it has exercised an option for a new 92,700-ton cruise ship for Italian cruise operator Costa Cruises.
Additionally, the company has extended the option for a previously announced 86,000-ton ship for Holland America Line.
The new Costa ship, which is scheduled for delivery in March 2010, will have 2,260 lower passenger berths and will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard at an all-in cost of approximately 420 million euros. It will be a sister ship to a previously announced 92,700-ton Costa vessel which is scheduled to enter service in spring 2009.
With today’s announcement, Costa has four new ships on order with a combined capacity of 10,520 lower berths. Once those vessels are introduced, the Costa fleet will have a total of 15 ships.
“Europe is one of the world’s fastest growing cruising areas and Costa is the region’s preeminent cruise operator. Continuing to invest in new ship construction will enable Costa to maintain its leadership position within the region while providing new and innovative on-board facilities and features for its guests,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO.
Added Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises, “With this new ship order, Costa reaffirms its long-term successful association with Fincantieri and its continued role in the development of the Italian economy. We expect this new ship to be highly popular with its many innovative facilities, including a double-deck-high magradome, Samsara spa, Samsara on- board life style concept and other state-of-the-art features.”
Carnival is also extending the option for a new 2,044-passenger Holland America Line ship which, if the option is exercised, would be built by Fincantieri and enter service in late 2010. The 86,000-ton Panamax vessel would be the second in the line’s new Signature class. The first in the series, the Eurodam, will be delivered in June 2008.
With the addition of the new Costa ship, Carnival Corporation & plc has 18 new ships on order, 12 of which are being built by Fincantieri.
Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri, added, “This new order, which is a further endorsement of our role as reference builder for the Carnival group and our position as the sector’s world leader, marks for both Costa and ourselves the successes of the past and the important achievements which we shall reach together.” He added, “This order, which extends our shipyards’ workload until 2010, confirms once again that our company can rely on a sound financial framework.”
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia.
Together, these brands operate 81 ships totaling approximately 144,000 lower berths with 18 new ships scheduled to enter service between March 2007 and spring 2010. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.