‘This new order will allow us to continue significantly build the Chinese market, which will become the second largest in the world at the end of the decade,' Costa Group ceo Michael Thamm said Saturday after Carnival Corp. & plc firmed a five-ship contract with Fincantieri, two each for Costa Asia and Princess Cruises and one for P&O Cruises Australia.
Of those, the two vessels to be operated by Costa Asia will be delivered in 2019 and 2020. Each is 135,000gt with 4,200 berths.
They'll add to the four ships Costa will be deploying in China from late April when Costa Fortuna arrives to Shanghai following its UAE season. The other year-round ships are Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Serena.
Costa Fortuna will boost Costa capacity there by 49%.
During the ship's 13-day drydock at Marseille’s Chantier Naval de Marseille, completed in December, interiors were modified for Chinese tastes.
The Costa Asia vessels will be the 13th and 14th built in Italy by Fincantieri, a total investment of more than €6bn.
Counting those, the Costa Group has seven ships on order, including two for the Costa brand at Meyer Turku yard and three for AIDA Cruises, one from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and two from Meyer Werft in Papenburg. The seven new ships total 41,000 berths, bringing the Costa Group capacity to 110,000 berths.
The first steel for the first Costa newbuild at Meyer Turku, coming in 2019, will be cut by the end of the year, according to Costa president Neil Palomba.