Just one week after Norwegian Cruise Line announced their decision to build two new cruise vessels, Carnival Corporation ordered new vessels to be constructed for its Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines. These announcements, in conjunction with Royal Caribbean’s current consideration of building a third Oasis-class ship, indicate that demand for new ships continues to grow, even though not as dramatically as a few years ago.
Norwegian Cruise Line has come to an agreement with German shipyard Meyer Werft, which will be building the company’s two ships. Due to be completed in October 2015 and spring 2017, the aptly named ‘Breakaway Plus’ will be a new class of ship. At 163,000 gross tons and approximately 4,200 passenger berths, they will be the largest ships in the Norwegian fleet.
“This new order further solidifies our commitment to continued innovation in terms of the guest experience and will incorporate technical and environmental advances as well,” said Kevin Sheehan, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, in a Cruise Industry Wire report.
Meanwhile, across all of its brands, Carnival Corporation now has nine ships scheduled for future delivery, the most recently announced being the 99,000-ton, 2,660 passenger HAL ship, scheduled for delivery in 2015, and the 135,000-ton, 4,000-passenger Carnival Cruise Lines ship, due to debut in winter 2016. Both these ships represent a new class of vessel for their respective brands. Carnival has signed a memorandum of agreement with shipyard Fincantieri, which further consolidates their 20-year relationship with the esteemed Italian shipbuilder.
Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean chairman, has expressed the likelihood that the company will place an order for a new ship by the end of the year. While no formal agreement has been made, Fain has indicated serious interest in constructing an Oasis-style vessel to be completed in 2016. Based on the success of Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, Fain believes that a similar ship, costing less on a per-berth basis, and with better energy efficiency, would be consistent with his company’s goals and client’s satisfaction.
Words: Riley Palmer