Sunday, June 5, 2011

Carnival Corporation Orders 141,000-Ton Cruise Ship for P&O Cruises

While Cruise Diva is based in the United States—and we suspect most of our readers are as well—there are significant things happening in other parts of the cruise world and this is one of them. Carnival Corporation has announced that it has contracted with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to construct a 141,000-ton cruise ship for its P-and-O Cruises brand scheduled to enter service in March 2015. The as-yet-unnamed 3,611-passenger vessel will be the largest in the P-and-O Cruises fleet, as well as the largest cruise ship built specifically for the British market. Ushering in an exciting era for P-and-O Cruises, the ship will offer a stylish and innovative new design and unprecedented number of passenger facilities, along with a variety of classic and iconic features of the P-and-O Cruises brand. Other specifications and new product innovations will be announced at a later date.

Commented Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation's chairman and CEO, "P-and-O Cruises is Britain's number one cruise operator, synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage. The UK continues to be a key growth market for Carnival and innovative vessels such as this new P-and-O Cruises ship—targeted specifically to British clientele—underscore our commitment to expanding this important cruise region."

So what's the big deal? The new P-and-O Cruises ship will weigh in at 141,000 ton, making it even larger than Carnival Cruise Lines' flagship Dream-class ships that are, by comparison 130,000 tons each. Additionally, the Dream-class ships carry more passengers.

P-and-O Cruises Managing Director Carol Marlow added, "This next-generation ship will deliver the ultimate P-and-O Cruises experience, with 'sophisticated wows' and new features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand, and equally to resonate with existing P-and-O Cruises passengers by giving them the 'P-and-O-ness' they recognize and love. She will offer 'the best of the best,' combining the favorite classic features of Oriana and Aurora, the choice and variety of Azura and Ventura, and a host of new ideas and concepts which together will deliver to our passengers the holiday of a lifetime, every time they travel with us."

Did you notice the mention of "features to attract thousands of newcomers to our brand"? That's just an indication of how popular cruises are becoming as a vacation option in the United Kingdom and the type of growth that's expected there.

Even with economic slowdowns worldwide, the cruise industry is still growing. It's just at a slower pace and in different areas than we're accustomed to seeing. The P-and-O ship order marks Carnival Corporation's first ship delivery for 2015, aligned with the company's strategy to construct two to three ships per year. It currently has seven additional ships on order—one ship scheduled for delivery for the remainder of 2011, three for 2012, two for 2013 and one for 2014.

Artist Redering Courtesy of Carnival Corporation

No comments: