Costa Cruises, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation, will build two new ships as part of an agreement with Meyer Werft, Germany to construct four next-generation cruise vessels with the world's largest guest capacity. In June, Carnival Corp. announced that the other couple included in the multi-billion dollar contract were destined for Carnival's German brand, AIDA Cruises.
Costa Cruises' new ships will be built by Meyer Werft at company's shipyard in Turku, Finland. The deliveries are expected in 2019 and 2020.
Each of the new vessels will exceed 180,000 GT, offering over 2,600 guest cabins to comfortably accommodate a total of 6,600 passengers. A major part of the new ship design involves more efficient use of ship's spaces, including multi-functional areas and plans for a wealth of personal space.
Carnival Corporation's next-generation ships for Costa and AIDA Cruises will be industry's first to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at sea. The cleanest burning fossil fuel in the world represents a major environmental breakthrough. These new ships will pioneer a new era in sustainable fuels' usage, generating 100% of ship's power both on the open sea and in port, an innovation that will reduce exhaust emissions and help protect the environment.
The four-vessel contract is part of a previously announced larger strategic memo of understanding with Fincantieri S.p.A and Meyer Werft for nine new ship building orders between 2019 and 2022. The construction of the two AIDA Cruises' new ships will take place at the shipbuilding facility of Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany.
Costa Cruises' new ships will prominently feature brand's "Italy's finest" experience. The creative uses of space will enhance the overall immersion in Italian culture, enabling passengers to discover Italy's hospitality and culinary excellence. Carnival Corp. and Costa Cruises have focused efforts to invest in Italy as a key cruise market. Nearly 700 crewmembers will be hired to work on the new Costa ships.
The order will also enable Costa Group, including 25 ships across the Costa and AIDA brands, to continue building on its leadership position in European cruise market. Last year, one out of every two passengers in Europe, or about 50%, sailed on a Costa or AIDA ship. Costa Group has 20 offices in 14 countries, as well as 27,000 employees onboard its ships and a total capacity of 68,000 beds across the fleet.