Reports are beginning to circulate via Italian media sources that Carnival Corp. is about to place the biggest shipping order in it’s history, with a formal announcement coming possibly as early as Friday, March 27th.
This would be for no less than ten very large new ships, to be delivered right across the Carnival portfolio of lines. If true, it will constitute the largest single order ever placed for passenger vessels of any kind by any one company. It is, in fact, without any parallel in maritime history.
Vessels in the plan include a new, 175,000 ton class of vessel for Italian flag bearers, Costa Cruises, as well as tonnage dedicated initially to the Chinese market. The entire building programme is scheduled to roll through until 2028.
What is really interesting about this order- apart from the sheer size of it- is that Carnival is dividing up the orders between it’s usual, favoured builders at Fincantieri of Italy, and the German yard of Meyer Werft in Papenburg- an operation more historically associated with being the builders of choice for rival lines such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
This astonishing, ten point counter strike comes after a few years in which the rival Royal Caribbean has nudged ahead in the headline building stakes, with the stunning new Quantum class vessels and, in the offing, another pair of the ground breaking Oasis class megaships- the largest class of passenger ships ever built.
This is a truly amazing development by any standards, if it is indeed true. As ever, stay tuned.