This just in by Patti Pietschmann
The world’s biggest operator of individually branded cruise lines such as Princess, Holland America, Seabourn, Fathom, Costa etc, is growing even larger with the pending addition of new ships that will be built in China. Carnival Corporation (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), CUK)just revealed that its cruise joint venture in China–where the cruise industry has been growing rapidly in recent years– has signed a new memorandum of agreement (MOA) to order the first-ever cruise ships built in China for the Chinese market. This deal updates the terms of an initial shipbuilding MOA announced in September 2016.
The MOA was formalized during an official signing ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian President Sergio Mattarella. Representatives of Carnival Corporation, CSSC and Fincantieri executed the agreement on behalf of Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture and the shipbuilding joint venture, respectively. The result of this negotiation will be an agreement by Carnival Corp. to order two new cruise ships to be built by a China-based shipbuilding joint venture between CSSC, the largest shipbuilder in China, and Italy-based Fincantieri S.p.A. The MOA also gives Carnival Corporation’s cruise joint venture the option to order four additional China-built cruise ships.
Carnival Corporation will operate and manage all cruise ships owned by the cruise joint venture as part of its plans to launch the first multi-ship cruise brand in China. The two new ships will be built with a design tailored for the cruise brand and the specific tastes of Chinese travelers. Under the agreement, Carnival Corporation will provide onsite supervision and support during ship construction. The first of these ships is expected for delivery in 2023.
“We are proud to order the first China-built cruise ships and play a meaningful role in developing cruise shipbuilding capabilities for the first time in China,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “This represents another important milestone in building a sustainable and prosperous cruise industry, and demonstrates our commitment to contributing to China become a leading cruise market as part of its five-year economic development plan.” “Our cruise joint venture’s agreement to order the first-ever cruise ships built in China and specifically designed for our cruise brand to serve Chinese guests is a tremendous opportunity to grow interest and demand for cruising as part of China’s rapidly expanding tourism market,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO, Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “We are very committed to working closely with our partners to further develop the Chinese cruise industry and continue supporting China’s efforts to become one of the leading cruise markets in the world, which will remain a key driver for cruise growth across Asia for many years to come.”
Want to learn more? Go to www.carnival.com, www.fathom.org, www.hollandamerica.com, www.princess.com, www.seabourn.com, www.aida.de, www.costacruise.com, www.cunard.com,www.pocruises.com.au and www.pocruises.com.