Carnival Corporation & PLC is an American-British cruise company, and currently the world's largest cruise ship operator, with a combined fleet of more than 110 ships across 9 cruise line brands. This is a dual listed company, composed of two parties - Carnival Corporation and Carnival PLC. They are combined as one entity, despite their separate listings, respectively on NYSE (New York) and LSE (London) stock exchanges. As such, Carnival Corporation & plc is the world's only company listed on both FTSE 100 and S&P 500 indices.
Carnival Group has its global headquarters in Doral Florida (USA) and Southampton England (UK), with regional headquarters in the UK, Germany, Italy, Australia and the USA. Today, the Corporation is one of the world’s oldest cruise ship companies, as P&O’s first passenger ship was launched in 1844.
The Corporation was formed in 2003, with the merger of "P&O Princess Cruises PLC" with Carnival Corporation. In 1972, the Corporation was originally established as "Carnival Cruise Lines". The company had a steady growth throughout the 70s and 80s, making an initial public offering in 1987 on the New York Stock Exchange. The capital generated was used for financing acquisitions. Between 1989 and 1999, the company acquired Windstar Cruises, Holland America Line, Westours, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line and Seabourn Cruise Line. In 1993 the "Carnival Corporation" name was adopted in order to distinguish the parent company from the flagship line subsidiary.
Prior to the merger, P&O Princess had agreed on a merger with RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd). However, there was a decision to abandon the deal after Carnival Corp made a new bid with improved terms for the P&O's British shareholders. P&O Princess Cruises plc remained LSE-listed as separate company, retaining its management team and UK shareholder body. The company was renamed "Carnival PLC", with operations of the two parties merged into one entity. Carnival Corp and Carnival PLC jointly own all Carnival Group-operated cruise line companies.
In February 2015, Carnival Corporation signed a "memorandum of understanding" (MoU) with China Merchants Group for 2 joint ventures. The MoU outlines an eventual partnership that could result in a new cruise line brand (ship-owning joint company), as well as joint development plans for Chinese destination and ports. The MouU's joint venture port plans include development of transit and turnaround / home-ports within China. China Merchants Group (founded 1872) is a state-owned company focusing on infrastructure and transportation, also on real estate development and financial services. Currently, Carnival Corporation serves the Chinese ship cruising market through Princess and Costa ships.
In May 2016, Carnival Corporation hired Omnicom Media Group (advertising agency) to handle all media planning and buying for all cruise brands. The result was “multi-million dollar” savings in ad costs. Previously, the Corporation used the services of 6 different agencies. Just in 2015, its combined media spend in North America and the UK was USD 116 million.
In July 2016, Carnival Corporation opened the EUR 75 million "Arison Maritime Center" in Almere (Holland). This is a cruise ship training facility for bridge and engineering officers operating ships across all brands. The simulation room ("Center for Simulator Maritime Training" / CSMART) creates various bridge and engine room scenarios and sea conditions. Among the simulated events are ship traffic, aircraft interference, weather events, wildlife circumvention. Simulations provide access to the exact visual elements of 60 cruise ports. The campus also has medical facilities and a 176-room hotel for the currently trained employees.
Carnival Corporation-owned cruise companies
The list of Carnival Group cruise brands (Carnival Corporation & PLC lines and subsidiary companies) includes AIDA (Kreuzfahrten), Costa (Crociere), Carnival, Cunard Line, Holland America Line (HAL), P&O (UK, Australia), Princess and Seabourn.
- Carnival Group / Carnival UK
Carnival Group (carnivalukgroup.com) includes the following seven cruise lines: AIDA (Germany), Costa (Italy), Carnival (USA), Cunard (UK), Holland America (USA), P&O Cruises (two separate brands - for UK and (Australia), Princess (USA), Seabourn (USA). All these brands traditionally offer excellent quality of services and onboard amenities distinguishing the group and giving it a leading position in the ocean cruising industry.
Primary operating of Carnival plc, one of major operating companies in Carnival Group. Consisting of former P&O Princess brands, with executive control of Cunard line and P&O Cruises. Sharing facilities and departmental areas with UK operations of Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Yachts of Seabourn. Carnival’s base is in purpose-built headquarters at Carnival House, Southampton, England. The company Carnival Corp & plc also has offices in UK for other operating bodies.
"Carnival UK" is trade marked as a business name of Carnival PLC. It is also a separate company incorporated in the UK (registered in London, England). Its office address is “5 Gainsford Str, London SE1 2NE”.
- Carnival PLC
This is a holding company of Carnival Group. In 2002, P&O Princess operated in the UK as the world's largest cruise ship operator and owned the brand lines AIDA, Ocean Village, Princess, P&O UK, P&O Australia. P&O demerged ship operations on October 23, 2000, forming P&O Princess Cruises plc. In 2002 P&O Princess announced the "Ocean Village" brand, starting operations in May 2003. After that, the company had agreed to merge with Carnival Corporation. P&O Princess was then re-registered as "Carnival PLC".
- Princess Cruises
The American-style sister of P&O Cruises, sharing a commitment to provide stylish sea ship vacation experience and first-class service. The dress code is more informal and relaxed.
- Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc has headquarters at Carnival Place in Miami suburbs of Doral, Florida, USA and at Carnival House, Southampton, Hampshire, England. The corporation and plc are separate companies with different shareholder bodies. Jointly they own the operating companies in group- Carnival Corp.- the majority stake.
It was agreed in 2002, that P&O Princess would remain a separate company, relisted as Carnival plc in London, with predominantly British shareholder body, retaining P&O Princess executive team. Carnival Corporation & plc comprises 11 cruise line brands, which operate combined fleet of about 100 ships, with about 190,000 berths and new ships on order.
The executive control is directed by geographical location, as Carnival UK controls operations in the UK (operations of Cunard Line, P&O (UK and AU), Princess); Carnival Corporation controls the operations in North America; Costa Cruises Group controls operations in rest of Europe. The combined brands of Carnival Corp in 2011 controlled a 49.2% share of the world cruise market.
The first acquisition in 1989 of Holland America Line, including Windstar Cruises and Holland America Tours, was followed in 1992 by Seabourn Cruise Line. Note: Windstar was sold to Xanterra Parks and Resorts (the US largest park management company) in 2011.
In 1993 changed name to Carnival Corporation, continuing to expand into cruise travel industry, acquisitioning in 1998 Cunard and Costa in 2000. Company website - phx.corporate-ir.net
- Costa Cruises Group
Being within the largest cruise operators in Europe, as part of Carnival Corporation & plc, Costa Cruises became one of primary companies in the group, mainly responsible Europe operations. It controls AIDA Cruises in Germany, Costa Cruises (Costa Crociere) in Italy and Ibero Cruises (iberoCruceros) in Spain (new cruise brand, created in 2007 by Carnival Corp).
- Costa Asia
Costa Asia is Carnival Corp's subsidiary that manages all the corporation's Asian cruise shipping operations. The Costa Asia company has offices in China (including Hong Kong), Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and India. Costa Asia is also the operator of all Asia-based Costa cruise ships.
Since May 2017, all Carnival Corporation ships managed by Costa Asia (all brands) allow using Alipay payment services onboard. The partnership between Carnival Corporation and Ant Financial Services Group (subsidiary of Alibaba, China's biggest online trading company) enables Chinese cruise passengers on all Carnival Corp ships in Asia to pay for onboard services and products using their Alipay (mobile payment platform) accounts. Among the onboard services and products are shopping, tours/excursions, food and drinks. These expenditures are added to the passenger's cabin folio, then cleared via his/her Alipay account on a nightly basis.
- Carnival Australia
A branch of Carnival PLC, with control of P&O Australia brand, responsible for operations of Carnival Corporation & PLC ships in South Pacific and Australia regions. Company website - carnivalaustralia.com
In July 2015, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding agreement with Meyer Werft for the construction of all 4 new class vessels. Of these 4 new cruise ships, 2 liners are for Costa Cruises and the other 2 for AIDA Cruises (Germany).
- The new Costa ships were scheduled for deliveries in 2019 and 2020 (built in Turku Finland), while the AIDA ships are built in Papenburg Germany.
- Each vessel has gross tonnage 183,000 GT tons, over 2,600 cabins, passenger capacity 6,600, crew capacity 700.
- The new ships for Costa and AIDA are the industry's first fully LNG-powered vessels, generating 100% of their onboard and propulsion power from LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) - both in ports and at sea.
- The 4-vessel contract was part of a previously announced larger shipbuilding order with Fincantieri (Italy) and Meyer Werft for all 9 new vessels with scheduled deliveries between 2019 and 2022. Managed by Costa Group, the Costa and AIDA combinjed fleet became Europe's largest. In 2014, one out of every two cruise ship tourists in Europe sailed on either AIDA or Costa ship. In 2015, Costa Group had 20 offices in 14 countries, around 27,000 shipbard employees and total passenger capacity of over 68,000 berths (across the combined fleet). Costa Group also is the leader on China's rapidly growing cruise market in Asia.
In January 2016, Carnival Corp signed a MoA (memo of agreement) with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build 4 new vessels. Contracts were finalized in April 2016. Of these, 2 vessels were for Costa Asia (homeported in China), 1 for Princess and 1 for P&O Australia.
- With this shipbuilding order, the Corporation had a total of 17 new ships scheduled for deliveries between 2016 and 2020. The four vessel will be built at Fincantieri's shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, with scheduled deliveries in 2019-2020.
- Three of the vessels are designed with gross tonnage 133,500 tons, LOA length is 323 m (1060 ft) and capacity 4000 passengers plus 1450 crew (2 are for Costa Asia, 1 for P&O AU). One ship with GT 143,700 tons and capacity 3560 passengers is for Princess. Both Costa ships are exclusively for the booming Chinese market.
- Each vessel is powered by two MAN diesel engines (model 14V48 / 60CR) plus three MAN diesel engines (medium-speed, model 8L48 / 60CR), providing total power output 62,400 kW. The engines are Tier-II compliant.
In September 2016, Carnival Corporation signed a shiporder for the first two new vessels to be built for the Chinese market.
- The newbuilds are constructed by a newly formed China-based shipbuilding joint venture between the country's largest shipbuilder CSSC ("China State Shipbuilding Corporation" and the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.
- The agreement grants Carnival the option to order 2 additional China-built cruise ships. The first 2 newbuilds were scheduled for delivery in 2022. They are with Vista-class design, and for a new Chinese cruise line (yet to be named).
- The joint venture ship operator company is expected to start operations with ships purchased from Carnival Corporation's existing fleet, and will be homeported in China (Hong Kong). Then will be added the China-built vessels (starting 2022).
- The Fincantieri-CSSC shipbuilding joint venture was signed on July 4, 2017, in Shanghai (CruiseMapper news).
AIDA and Costa cruise ship robots
An innovative AIDA and Costa shipboard program implemented latest cyborg technology fleets-wide. Humanoid robots greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the cruise by providing information and tips on dining (restaurants, bars), entertainment (lounges, scheduled events, presentations, promotions), shore excursions and tours (offered in ports of call along the cruise itinerary).
These robots (named "Pepper") are able to communicate in 3 different languages (English, German, Italian), to move fluidly and even to interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and face expressions.
Designed by the companies ALDEBARAN and SoftBank, the Pepper robot was launched in Japan (June 2014) as the world’s first “emotional” robot. The machine's main statistics are:
- height 120 cm / 4 ft
- weight 28 kg / 62 pounds
- 3x wheels (omnidirectional)
- 17x joints
- 1x 3D depth sensor
- 2x HD cameras
- 4x microphones
- touch sensors (in its head and hands)
- a 10-inch (25 cm) touch screen
The new technology was first tested on the AIDAstella ship where Pepper learned to engage with passengers and crew. The first set of robots were introduced on Costa Diadema and AIDAprima in April 2016. By the end of summer 2016, Pepper robots were available on all AIDA and Costa ships.
Carnival "fathom" Cruise Line (Cuban itineraries)
In April 2016, Carnival Corporation launched the fathom cruise brand (with a lower case "f"). The new company was designed to offer an unique “social impact travel” experience and was the first cruise line dedicated to volunteer tourism (voluntourism).
- Fathom Cruises catered to travelers who wanted to have positive impact on people’s lives, to experience personal growth while making engaging contributions to the world. Fathom gave its customers the opportunity to work directly with people to improve their lives. The brand targeted mainly first-time cruisers.
- The 710-passenger ship Adonia was transferred from P&O UK to fathom. The vessel underwent a drydock refurbishment in March 2016, nut without structural changes. The fathom company's President was Tara Russell (Create Common Good's founder and chairman).
- The first fathom cruise itinerary was a 7-day voyage on Adonia, roundtrip from Miami. The first port of call was Amber Cove (Carnival's exclusive port in Dominican Republic). There, passengers were able to choose from a range of both onboard and ashore activities.
- Each week, a new cruise passenger group boarded Adonia and underwent 2 sea days of training in local volunteer activities. Then the ship arrived at Amber Cove, where passengers spent up to 3 days working with local organizations and residents. The program also included reforestation projects, as well as exploration and recreational activities. The Adonia ship offered only low-key onboard entertainment and activities - no casino, no large theater shows. Food included local specialties.
- Dominican Republic impact activities were designed to help local economy, education and environment. Fathom cruise tourists were engaged (and participated alongside with local partners) in the following activities - "Student / Community English Conversation and Learning", "Water Filter Production" (produced and installed in community homes), "Reforestation and Nursery", "Concrete Floors in Community Homes", "Cacao and Women's Chocolate Cooperative" (helping small woman-owned business by cleaning cacao nibs, also wrapping, packaging and preparing for sale cacao products), "Recycled Paper and Crafts Entrepreneurship".
- Cuba-themed onboard activities included Cuban food and rum tastings, live music concerts, history- and art-themed lectures, film screenings. Cuban shore excursions included Old Havana walking tour (local cafe lunch included), Havana tour visiting Tropicana and Cabaret Parisien in a classic American car. Santaigo de Cuba tour (visits several community projects),
- The second Adonia fathom cruise itinerary was a 7-day voyage from Miami to Cuba, where the ship visited the ports Havana, Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba. Ashore activities (cruise-price inclusive) were again educational- and humanitarian themed. The daily "shore excursion" programming was 8 hours long (each day, mandatory for all passengers) and included activities like city walks, visiting Colimar (fishing village), private home-restaurant (paladares) lunches, meeting Cuban people, visiting local ruins, museums, schools.
- Fathom cruise prices included volunteer training, all excursions, supplies (tips were not included). Fathom pricing varied by season and started from USD 1540 per person per day (Dominican Republic itinerary) and USD 2990 (Cuban itinerary). Bookings required a fully-refundable USD 300 pp deposit 90 days before departure. Deals were inclusive of select ashore activities, lunch in Santiago de Cuba and Dominican Republic impact activities. Carnival's Cuban cruise itinerary program started in May 2016. Fathom sales / bookings opened on July 7, 2015.. A portion of every fathom cruise ticket went to partner organizations to cover ashore activities (travel, supplies, local personnel).
- In October 2015, Carnival Corporation announced fathom's cruise prices range - from USD 970 (inside cabin, low season fare) to USD 8250 (suite accommodation, peak season fare). Prices excluded Gov taxes, port fees, gratuities (USD 80 pp) and Cuban visas (USD 75 pp).
- Fathom was the world's first cruise line to offer voyages to Cuba. Travel became possible in 2016 following the gradual relaxation of USA' trade embargo against the country. On March 21, 2016, Carnival Corporation executives met with Government officials in Havana to sign the USA to Cuba cruise ship travel agreement. On April 26, 2016, Cuba lifted the ban on Cuban-born US citizens to enter the country on ships, Fathom's maiden voyage to Cuba from Miami was on May 1, 2016.
- On June 1, 2016, were opened fathoms' bookings for 2017. Carnival also announced all Adonia's departure dates for 2017 - to Dominican Republic (Jan. 1, Jan. 15, Jan. 29, Feb. 12, Feb. 26, March 12, March 26, April 9, April 23, May 7, May 21, June 4, June 18, July 2, July 16, July 30, Aug. 13, Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, Nov. 19, Dec. 3, Dec. 17, Dec. 31) and to Cuba (Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 5, March 19, April 2, April 16, April 30, May 14, May 28, June 11, June 25, July 9, July 23, Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29, Nov. 12, Nov. 26, Dec. 10, Dec. 24).
- In Novembr 2016, Carnival Corporation announced that all its brands' ships that visit Amber Cove (including Carnival, Holland America, Princess, AIDA, Costa, P&O UK) will offer their passengers to participate in the fathom-created voluntourism activities. However, unlike fathom (which was price-inclusive af the impact activities), for the other Carnival lines volunteer opportunities cost extra and were sold as shore excursions.
- Also in November 2016, P&O UK announced Adonia's return to the UK in June 2017. The remainder of the above-listed scheduled for 2017 departures were cancelled. In May 2017, Adonia underwent a drydock refurbishment before re-joining the P&O fleet.
Carnival Corporation's "Ocean Medallions"
Carnival Cruise Line's "Ocean Medallion" is a new generation wearable technology allowing passengers access to "virtual concierge" services and amenities. The new technology will be implemented on all Carnival Corporation ships in the period 2017-2018.
The medallion is a small disk-shaped device (weight 51 grams, size of an US quarter dollar) that can be sent (for free) to every customer of the company. The medallion stores all the information provided by its owner - online uploaded, as well as real-time uploaded (during the cruise or whenever). It can be weared around the wrist, around the neck or loosely. No matter where it is, the medallion is always on and working.
- When you do cruise booking, you establish online your basic vacation profile (likes, dislikes, onboard and ashore preferences - such as interactive gaming, gambling, culinary, recreational, entertainment, etc). Then Carnival Cruise Line mails you the medallion engraved with your name on it. The device is equipped with Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication) technology.
- One of the medallions' best features is that they allow streamline embarkation/debarkation in each of the ports along the cruise itinerary, also cruise ship and airport transfers (meet & greet), quick luggage identification and delivery straight to the stateroom. This avoids all the hassles usually encountered at cruise terminals. You simply board the ship, with the Ocean Medallion having all the needed information about you and your booking.
- Other services provided via the Ocean Medallion are all kinds of onboard purchases (shops, bars and specialty restaurants, Wi-Fi Internet and beverage packages, photos, beauty salon and spa treatments), making reservations (dining, spa, etc), also booking shore excursions and tours.
- The Ocean Medallion also allows checking out onboard restaurant and bar menus, but additionally allows placing orders for delivery to any place on the ship (stateroom, open decks, casino, theater, lounges, etc).
- Beside serving as a "cruise ticket", the medallion also doubles as cabin key (keycard) as it opens cabin doors.
- Ocean Medallions have no on/off buttons or navigation menus, and don't require charging. The medallion additionally gives access to the Ocean Compass ("virtual concierge") via mobile electronic devices (phone, tablet, laptop). Ocean Compass is also accessible through the in-cabin infotainment system (interactive TV), via onboard and cruise terminal located digital kiosks, and via the interactive LED screens throughout the ship.
- Ocean Medallions are part of a local (shipboard) system, thus no extra fees are charged for using these devices.
- For implementing this wireless technology, all Carnival Corporation ships are scheduled to undergo revamping for installing the required network of sensors and computing devices. The company's Bahamian private island cruise ports (Princess Cays, and Half Moon Cay) are also wired to serve the medallions, plus some of the largest US cruise port terminals and airports.
- The first cruise ship serving the Ocean Medallions will be Regal Princess (November 2017). Beside Carnival ships, the new technology also serves customers on vessels of Costa, Cunard, Holland America, P&O (UK and Australia fleets), and Seabourn.
At the following tag link can be found listed all CruiseMapper's news related to Carnival Corporation.