Cruise Liners|

Carnival Corporation Orders 3 New Ships for £1.25 billion

Carnival Corp, AIDA Cruises & Costa Cruises LogosCarnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, has announced that it will be expanding the fleets of its AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises brands with three new ships – which will be the largest for both lines. The group also owns and operates the brands: Ibero Cruceros, Cunard Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, Holland America Line and P&O Princess Cruises.

The firm is targeting the German market by adding two 125,000 tonne vessels to its AIDA Cruises brand. The cruise line seems to have many cruises in different areas of the world, including Asia, the Amazon, the Black Sea and Northern Europe. The ships are due to be built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built a vessel for Carnival’s Princess Cruises in 2004. Each are said to cost €140,000 per lower berth. The vessels will carry 3,250 passengers each and are due for delivery in March 2015 and 2016.

However, it will also add a 132,500 tonne ship to its Italian brand, Costa Cruises. The group is going to have Italy’s Fincantieri yard build this one, which will cost them €150,000 per lower berth. This ship will be able to carry 3,700 passengers and is due for delivery in October 2014.

Although Carnival is ordering these ships during a time of economic uncertainty, it’s expected that this uncertainty will be over by the time the first of these ships is delivered. Vance Gulliksen, a spokesman for Carnival, said that the company obviously has a great deal of confidence in these brands and the European market to make this kind of investment. The total investment is about £1.25 billion and follows the company’s strategy to introduce two or three new vessels every year. So far they have 10 ships to be delivered by 2016 – three in 2012; two in 2013/14/15; and 1 in 2016.

Meanwhile, Carnival Corporation is in the middle of a lawsuit brought on by residents and environmental groups in Charleston, South Carolina. The suit alleges that the company’s liners violate city regulations and are a public nuisance. The suit asks that a judge rule it illegal for Union Pier to be used as a new $35 million passenger cruise terminal. However, late last week, Judge Kristi Lea Harrington granted the city and the South Carolina State Ports Authority permission to support the company. Bryan Miller, a spokesman for the Ports Authority said that the lawsuit is baseless. This follows the group basing its Carnival Fantasy in the city last year, offering a year-round cruising season.

CCL shares for the company were down 5 cents to $31.72 this week, with a 52-week high of $48.14 on January 6 and a low of $29.95 on August 25 last year. CUK shares were also down 15 cents to $32.68, with a 52-week high of $50.35 on January 18 and a low of $31.48 on August 25 last year.

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