Celebrity Cruises will
build a new cruise ship and launch a new class of landmark ships, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL)
and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft announced today after signing a letter of intent. Celebrity also has an option for a second ship. The agreement is subject to customary conditions being satisfactorily met.
Celebrity incorporates many features typically associated with luxury cruising in its new ship. More than 90 percent of the ship’s staterooms are outside cabins, and more than 90 percent of those rooms have balconies.
The standard stateroom on this ship is much larger than the standard stateroom in the cruise industry. The average standard stateroom on Celebrity’s new ship is 215 square feet.
Other distinctive features are planned for the new design and will be announced in coming months. Their inclusion on the ship, like the added balconies and larger staterooms, is the result of Celebrity’s close dialogue with its guests and trade partners.
The new ship, Celebrity’s first wide-body construction, has a volume of 117,000 gross registered tons, and length and width of 1,033 feet by 121 feet, making it a post-Panamax vessel. The 1,425-stateroom ship accommodates 2,850 guests (double occupancy) and 1,250 crew.
“Today’s announcement clearly demonstrates the company’s continuing commitment to the growth and innovative development of the Celebrity brand, “said Dan Hanrahan
, president of Celebrity Cruises. “It also strengthens our hand in delivering the incredible service and amenities and the phenomenal cruise experience Celebrity is known for.”
“We are excited to be collaborating with Celebrity on this new, breakthrough design and its market-leading innovations,” said Meyer Werft Managing Partner Bernard Meyer
. “It has taken us many months to develop a strong, working prototype and this next-generation of ships is truly extraordinary.”
The company expects delivery of the new ship in Fall 2008. It estimates the all-in cost of the ship to be approximately $225,000 per berth. The exercise date for the second ship is March 15, 2006, subject to certain conditions.
With today’s new ship and current ship orders, the company predicts fleet capacity to increase by 2.8 percent in 2006, 7.4 percent in 2007, and 7.2 percent in 2008.