Carnival Caps Newbuilding Period with Seven Ships in Seven Months

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
With the naming of Princess Cruises' new 2,674-passenger Sapphire Princess in Seattle tomorrow, June 10, 2004, Carnival Corporation & plc will complete an unprecedented period in which the company introduced seven ships in less than seven months. The marathon new ship parade began when the company's Italian brand, Costa Cruises, introduced the 2,720-passenger Costa Fortuna from its new cruise terminal in Savona, Italy, in late November 2003. Since then, Carnival has launched six more ships. In January 2004, Cunard Line introduced the widely acclaimed 151,000-ton Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger vessel ever constructed. Carnival Cruise Lines launched the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle in February, followed by Princess Cruises' 2,674-passenger Diamond Princess in March. Princess Cruises' 3,114-passenger Caribbean Princess and Holland America Line's 1,848-passenger Westerdam entered service in April. Finally, the Sapphire Princess will sail on its inaugural voyage June 13, 2004. Together, these ships represent nearly 18,000 total lower berths. This record new ship introduction schedule, at a rate of approximately one ship a month, was brought about by last year's merger by Carnival with P&O Princess Cruises to create Carnival Corporation & plc, the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices. "The new ship schedule is certainly unprecedented in our company and, I believe, in the history of the cruise industry, as well," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO. "Despite the torrid pace, all seven ship deliveries and start-ups were extremely smooth, with all of these ships enjoying great success in their respective markets," he added. While Carnival will now have a short lull in its new ship introductions, it is not finished for the year. Still to come are Costa's 2,702-passenger Costa Magica in November and Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,974-passenger Carnival Valor in December. Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of 12 cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia. Together, these brands operate 77 ships totaling more than 128,000 lower berths with eight new ships scheduled for delivery between November 2004 and December 2006. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
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