German ship yard Meyer Werft has signed on to build two new cruise ships for Italian line Costa Cruises, billed as the largest ships ever built in terms of guest capacity.
The move is part of a four ship deal signed by Costa-parent Carnival Corporation.
In June, Carnival Corporation announced the other two ships included in the multi-billion dollar contract are destined for its German brand, AIDA Cruises.
The two new ships for Costa Cruises will be built by shipbuilder Meyer Werft at the company’s shipyard in Turku, Finland, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020.
Each new cruise ship will exceed 180,000 gross tons, offering more than 2,600 passenger cabins and 5,200 lower berths to comfortably accommodate a total capacity of 6,600 guests.
A major part of Carnival Corporation’s new ship design involves making more efficient use of the ship’s spaces, which includes multi-functional common areas and plans for more personal space, creating an enhanced on board guest experience.
Carnival Corporation’s four next-generation cruise ships for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises will be the first in the industry to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough.
The four-ship contract with Meyer Werft is part of a larger previously announced strategic memo of understanding with leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri for nine new ship orders between 2019 and 2022.
Construction of the two new ships for AIDA Cruises will take place at Meyer Werft’s shipbuilding facility in Papenburg, Germany.
“These new ships will be phenomenal additions to our fleet, and we’re looking forward to seeing our Costa and AIDA brands bring this ground-breaking new ship design to life for our guests in a way that is customized for each brand,” said Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation.
“As we continue enhancing our fleet, it is very important to us that every decision we make in the development of these new ships is about the guest experience, which supports our goal to exceed guest expectations and create great vacation memories for every person who boards one of our ships.”
The new Costa Cruises ships will prominently feature the brand’s “Italy’s finest” experience, with the new ship designs and creative uses of space serving to enhance the overall on board immersion in Italian culture.
The ships and crew will serve as ambassadors for the finest of Italian society on the seas, enabling guests to discover Italy’s unique style, hospitality, entertainment and culinary excellence.
The new contract also supports the community-focused efforts of Carnival Corporation and Costa Cruises to invest in Italy as a key market in which the company operates.
According to forecasts from Costa Cruises, more than 750 crewmembers are expected to be hired to work on the two new ships.