July 13, 2005
Carnival orders another AIDA club ship
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL; LSE: CUK) has ordered a 68,500-ton cruise ship for its AIDA Cruises brand, which caters exclusively to the German-speaking market, marking the third new ship order placed for its German cruise line in the past nine months.
The 2,030-passenger vessel, which will be built by Germany's Meyer Werft at an all-in cost of Euros 315 million ( about $386 million at today's exchange rate), is scheduled to enter service in April 2008.
The announcement follows yesterday's news that Meyer Werft is to build the first post-Panamax cruise vessel for Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises brand.
Today's order is for a sister ship to AIDA's two previously announced 68,500-ton "Sphinx class" cruise ships which will be built at Meyer Werft and are expected to enter service in April 2007 and April 2009.
Like its sister ships, the new vessel will operate under AIDA's informal "club resort" cruise concept which is aimed at younger, more active vacationers and offers a host of on-board amenities and facilities. It will also have AIDA's distictive livery.
"With an expected passenger base of approximately one million by 2010, the German market is expanding at a very rapid pace. Ordering a third 68,500-ton 'club resort' newbuild for AIDA continues our European strategy of developing this fast-growing market by offering cruises with the most exciting, modern ships available for German vacationers," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO.
“We are very pleased with this contract. It was a hard struggle, and we’ve been able to offer AIDA a good, complete package again with this newbuilding. What we really appreciate is that with this third ship of the Sphinx class, we can set the course for another milestone in the German cruise market”, said Bernard Meyer, Meyer Werft’s CEO and managing partner.
This third cruise ship will have a length overall of 249 m and a breadth of 32.2 m. It will accommodate 2,030 passengers in 1,015 cabins.
Meyer Werft says the ships will feature a wealth of technical innovations and interior design highlights.
A power of 36,000 kW (approx. 50,000 hp) will be generated by four large diesel engines, enabling the new cruise liners to operate at a speed beyond 21 knots.
By 2009, a total of seven AIDA club ships will be in service, operating voyages to the Mediterranean, the Canaries, North Sea, the Baltic, the Caribbean and Central America.