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Carnival Corporation Orders 2nd Newbuild in Six Weeks

In February, Carnival Corporation announced it had signed an agreement with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to add a fourth Excel-class cruise ship to its fleet in 2027, making it the first newbuild order for the corporation in five years. 

Surprisingly, on Tuesday, Carnival Corporation & plc announced it has signed another agreement with the same shipyard for a fifth Excel-class ship to be delivered in 2028. The vessel will be the 11th Excel-class ship for the corporation’s fleet and the fifth for Carnival Cruise Line.

“Carnival’s Excel-class fleet will soon be a quintet of these very popular ships that provide outstanding guest amenities and tremendous operating efficiencies,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Since the introduction of Mardi Gras in 2021 and the subsequent expansion with Carnival Celebration in 2022 and Carnival Jubilee in 2023, these Excel-class ships are driving excitement, demand, and strong guest satisfaction ratings. With the arrival of Carnival Firenze in April, we are completing the addition of five ships to our fleet in less than 20 months, and then we will pivot to another phase of growth with these two Excel ships.”

Like her sister ships, the new Excel-class ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), carry more than 6,400 guests and 1,800 crew, and offer new onboard spaces and venues.

“This new order continues to balance our commitment to growth with our responsible capital approach to utilize strong free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve our balance sheet, significantly reduce our leverage levels and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc.

He added, “Carnival Cruise Line continues to perform at an outstanding level, and we are focused on adding capacity across the company where it aligns with demand and our position in the marketplace. This measured capacity growth strategy will result in our adding one to two ships per year beginning in 2027, and we will be identifying additional fleet plans over the coming months for our cruise lines to meet capacity demand and improve execution across all aspects of our operation, with the benefit of yielding higher return on invested capital.”

Meyer Group shipyards have produced nine LNG-propelled cruise ships for four Carnival Corporation cruise lines and are excited to be building Carnival Cruise Line’s next two still unnamed ships. 

Bernd Eikens, CEO of Meyer Group, said, “We are proud of the role the Excel-class from MEYER WERFT and MEYER TURKU has played in contributing to the success of Carnival Corporation for many years now. We look forward to continuing this success story together.”

The newbuild is contingent on financing which is expected to be finalized later this year.