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
"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
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
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.