June 12, 2006
Carnival orders ships for Costa and Aida
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), today announced that it has ordered two cruise ships for its European brands with an option for a third.
Included in today's orders are a 92,700-ton vessel for Genoa, Italy-based Costa Crociere, as well as an option for a sister ship, both to be built by Italy's Fincantieri shipyard, and a 68,500-ton ship for its Rostock, Germany-based AIDA Cruises to be built by Germany's Meyer Werft yard.
The new vessels will add more than 6,500 total lower berths to Carnival Corporation & plc's fleet and build upon its leadership position within the rapidly expanding European cruise market, with six million passengers expected to set sail by 2015.
The new Costa ships will be built at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard and have a basis-two capacity of 2,260 each. The first ship is scheduled to enter service in spring 2009. If the option is exercised, the second ship is slated to debut in fall 2010.
The all-in cost for each vessel will be approximately Euros 420 million ($531 million).
Including the new ship and option, Costa currently has five new vessels on order from Fincantieri representing 13,520 total lower berths.
The new AIDA ship will have a basis-two capacity of 2,050. Scheduled delivery is spring 2010. The vessel's all-in cost will be approximately Euros 330 million ($417 million)
It is the fourth 68,500-ton vessel ordered for the brand in just the past 19 months. Three other vessels, also being built at Meyer Werft, are slated to debut in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
All four vessels will operate under AIDA Cruises' informal "club resort" cruise concept which is marketed exclusively to German-speaking clientele and offers a product aimed at younger, more active passengers who enjoy a host of on-board amenities and facilities.
According to Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison, today's announcement continues the company's aggressive expansion strategy in the European market.
"We have invested a great deal of time and money expanding and diversifying the European cruise market which possesses incredible potential for growth. Costa is already the clear leader in the southern European market and AIDA holds the same distinction in Germany. These new state-of-the-art ships for Costa and AIDA will further bolster their positions in the respective markets and ensure that we have adequate capacity available to meet growing demand for European cruises," Arison said.