October 19, 2004
Carnival orders two for AIDA
Carnival Corporation & plc today announced it has ordered two new 68,500-ton cruise ships for its AIDA brand, which caters exclusively to the German-speaking market.
The ship's will have the characteristic AIDA "smile" paint job. But perhaps the broadest smile today is on the face of Bernard Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft, which has won the order to build the pair.
The vessels will have an all-in cost of approximately euro 315 million (about $394 million) each and are expected to be delivered in April 2007 and April 2009.
Each vessel, which will operate under AIDA's informal "club resort" cruise concept aimed at younger, more active passengers, will carry approximately 2,030 lower berths--roughly 22 percent more than the largest vessel in the brand's current fleet.
The ships will each have a length OA of 249 m and a beam of 32.2 meters. Propulsion will be by four diesels producing a total 36,000 kW to give a 21 knot cruising speed.
"Part of our European strategy is to aggressively grow the German market. Exciting new ships like these are needed and they must be specifically designed to meet the demands of German travelers who are increasingly discovering the value and convenience of cruise holidays," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO.
Today's announcement marks the second time in four weeks that Carnival Corporation & plc has placed a new ship order. Just last month, the company reached an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of four new cruise ships, as well as the redesign of the Queen Victoria for Cunard Line.
Arison noted that these multiple ship orders fulfill the long-term strategy of growing the cruise market globally and also lower the company's newbuild costs. He pointed out that the per-berth price of the AIDA ships comes at the low end of the range that Carnival has historically paid for euro-priced newbuilds.
Bernard Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft shipyard, said, "I am very pleased that we are building ships for the world's leading cruise operator, Carnival Corporation & plc. The order with Meyer Werft shows the great confidence in our yard. It is also very rewarding for us as a German yard to be asked to build ships for Germany's leading cruise brand, AIDA. These exciting new vessels will set the standard for the future of German cruising for many years to come."
With these new orders, Carnival's capacity growth remains in line with previous guidance of mid-single digit growth. Based on the current order book, capacity growth will be 6.9 percent in 2007, 5.5 percent in 2008, and 2.1 percent in 2009.
AIDA Cruises has revolutionized the German cruise market with the AIDA club ships since 1996. In 2009 a total of six club ships will be operating in the Mediterranean, the Canaries, North Sea, the Baltic, the Caribbean and Central America.