The world’s largest cruise company plans to build four ships that will have the largest capacity on earth – 6,600 passengers.
And they will be the first ships powered at sea by liquefield natural gas.
Miami-based Carnival Corp. & PLC said it has finalized a multibillion-dollar agreement for the new ships with German shipyard Meyer Werft.
The exact cost of the ships and details about their features were not released Monday.
Two of the ships will be built for Carnival’s Aida Cruises brand at Meyer’s Papenburg shipyard in Germany. The two others will be constructed at Meyer’s shipyard in Turku, Finland.
The four are among nine orders included in an agreement with Meyer and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri between 2019 and 2022.
Carnival’s other cruise brands are Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia), P&O Cruises (U.K.) and its just-launched “social impact” travel company fathom.
Bigger ships are a trend in the industry.
In October, Norwegian Cruise Line will add its largest ship to its fleet – the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Escape, which will be based in Miami for sailings to the Caribbean.
Royal Caribbean International, which currently has the world’s two largest cruise ships in its fleet – the 5,400-passenger Oasis and Allure of the Seas – has ordered two more ships in this megaclass of vessels.
The third and fourth Oasis ships are set to be delivered in mid-2016 and mid-2018, respectively.
Italian cruise operator MSC Cruises also plans to add larger ships to its fleet within a few years. The line’s MSC Seaside ship is set to debut in November 2017 to carry up to 5,300 passengers.