The Costa Group has signed an agreement with Fincantieri to build two new ships for the Costa Asia brand.
The ships, each weighing 135,500 gross tons and a passenger capacity of 4,200 guests, will be manufactured in Italy.
They will be specifically designed for the Chinese market, joining the fleet in 2019 and 2020.
The new Costa Asia ships are part of a memorandum of agreement signed by Carnival Corporation with Fincantieri to build four new ships by 2020 at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.
The construction of the new ships is expected to create employment for thousands of shipyard workers and employees of associated industries in Italy.
The employment benefits will extend beyond the yards, especially with regard to the fitting-out of the interiors of the cruise ships, with contracted suppliers engaged, most of which are Italian firms.
Thanks to the new agreement, the Costa Group now has eight new ships on order with a total capacity of 45,000 berths (four for the German brand Aida Cruises; two for the Italian brand Costa Cruises; two for Costa Asia), bringing the total capacity of the fleet to 110,000 berths.
“We are happy to continue our long-standing strategic partnership with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.
“This new investment is expected to create wealth and employment for the Italian country as a whole.
“As for Costa Diadema, the latest Costa ship built by Fincantieri and the best expression of Italy’s finest, also Costa Asia ships will feature an innovative Italian style design.
“In addition this new agreement will allow us to continue significantly build the Chinese cruise market, which will become the second largest in the world at the end of the decade,” said Michael Thamm, chief executive, Costa Group.
The Costa Group was the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market back in 2006.