Carnival Corporation has finalised contracts with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build five new ships as part of a memorandum of agreement announced last year.
Two will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, two for Princess Cruises and one designated for P&O Cruises Australia, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020.
The contracts were formalised during a signing ceremony as part of the official handover ceremony for Holland America Line's new vessel Koningsdam at Fincantieri's shipyard.
The new ships for both Costa Asia and P&O Cruises Australia are expected to be 135,500-ton vessels with the capacity to carry 4,200 passengers.
The 143,700-ton, 3,560-passenger ships for Princess Cruises will be the brand's fourth and fifth Royal-class vessels, featuring the design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and the new Majestic Princess which is due to enter service in 2017.
Carnival Corporation has now taken delivery of two new ships this year – AIDAprima for German brand AIDA Cruises and Koningsdam for Holland America Line. Including the five new ships, Carnival Corporation has a total of 16 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.
President and chief executive, Arnold Donald (pictured), said: "Supporting our goal to exceed guest expectations on every cruise, these new ships will create a whole new level of excitement and opportunity to deliver experiences that our guests will not only remember for the rest of their lives, but will also share with others.
"Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time."
The new ship order will strengthen Costa Asia's position in the region, as well as developing Asia Pacific and China to be one of the leading cruise markets in the world.
The P&O Cruises Australia ship, the brand's first-ever newbuild, will have the largest passenger capacity of any ship in the line's fleet. The new ship will join an already growing fleet that was recently expanded with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November, will see the introduction of the 2,000-passenger Pacific Explorer in 2017.
Australia is one of the fastest growing cruise markets in the world, with an average annual passenger growth rate of 20% over the past decade.
The new Princess Cruises ships will include new innovations to enhance the guest experience, according g to the company.
Specific ship features and deployment details will be announced by each brand at a future date.
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