Costa Crociere -- a member of the Carnival Corporation & plc group -- has doubled its order with Fincantieri, reaching an agreement to build the Costa Concordia’s new sistership, a 112,000-ton, 475 million euro ship.
The new order will also help offset the sale of the Costa Tropicale to P&O Cruises Australia
. The will be built in the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa). It is scheduled to be delivered in the spring of 2007.
The new Concordia class ship ordered by Costa Crociere, which has yet to be named, will allow Costa Crociere to maintain its leadership in Europe in terms of capacity and to set a company record as Europe’s most modern fleet.
“This new order will allow us to maintain a firm grip on our “core business” more than compensating for the transfer of the Costa Tropicale,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere Spa. “In fact, since this order involves a ship that is even bigger and more modern than the Costa Tropicale, our fleet’s capacity will increase, thus confirming our company’s optimistic growth prospects for the next few years, and encouraged by the increasingly greater success of the Costa product.”
The Costa Concordia and its future sister ship will measure 112,000 gt with a length of 290 metres and a total capacity of 3,800 passengers (3,000 lower berths). More than 60% of the 1,500 cabins will include a private balcony or window. The two new ships will be built to operate in the Mediterranean year round, and thus all their various characteristics will be designed for winter vacations. Such features include greater tonnage and stability to ensure sailing in the Mediterranean even in the winter, an enormous 1,900 m² wellness area, extending over two decks, one of the largest ever on any cruise ship, and the possibility of covering two of the four swimming pools so that they can be used throughout the year, regardless of the weather conditions.
The new Concordia Class ship ordered from Fincantieri brings the total number of vessels under construction for Costa Crociere SpA to 4: 2 ships ordered from Fincantieri for Costa Crociere along with 2 for AIDA Cruises, the cruise sector leader in Germany that became part of Costa Crociere SpA as of 1st November 2004.
“The new order for Costa Crociere comes right on the heels of and emphasises the importance of the agreement reached in September between Fincantieri and Carnival for the construction of four new ships together with the redesign, on a larger scale, of a fifth vessel that had been previously commissioned, further exemplifying the preferential relationship between the two companies foreseen by the agreement ” declared Giuseppe Bono, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri. “During the year, we acquired 14 new orders, most of them targeted to the export market, seven cruise ships, six ferries and a patrol vessel, worth a total of more than 3.5 billion euros. Within the framework of cooperative efforts with Carnival Corporation & plc, we are currently working to develop the “Pinnacle” project, a 200,000 gt cruise ship that would become the world’s largest passenger vessel” concluded Bono.
The new ship for Costa Crociere brings the total number of ships on order with Fincantieri for 6 different brands of the Carnival group to 11, for an overall value of over 5.5 billion dollars, further consolidating the world leadership of Fincantieri as cruise ship builder.
In global terms, the introduction of the new Costa ship will increase the Carnival Corporation & plc fleet
’s overall capacity by 7.6% in 2007 and by 6.6% in 2008: an increase over what was previously announced, i.e. 6.6% for 2007 and 5.7% for 2008. Carnival Corporation & plc has ordered or is expecting delivery of 13 ships between 2005 and 2009, including Costa’s latest order.
The Costa Tropicale, with a capacity of 1,022 guests in lower berths, originally entered service for Carnival Cruise Lines in 1982, for which it operated until 2001, when it was acquired and refurbished by Costa Crociere. At the present time, and for the entire 2004-2005 winter season, the Costa Tropicale operates cruises between Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay with departure from Santos, while weekly departures from Civitavecchia for two different seven-day itineraries in the Mediterranean will begin in the summer of 2005.
On the transfer of Costa Tropicale to P&O Cruises Australia, Micky Arison, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated: “We are constantly evaluating our ship assets and looking at which brands can best utilize certain types of vessels based on the characteristics of each brand and the markets in which each one operates. CostaTropicale is a ship extremely well suited to the P&O Australia brand and its transfer to that fleet is a perfect example of the synergies we can capitalize on through our multi-brand, global strategy”.