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UBS expects 2017 newbuild orders from Carnival Corp. this summer

UBS Investment Research predicts Carnival Corp. & plc could order a pair of ships this summer for 2017 delivery, since the cruise giant currently has no new tonnage planned past 2016.

Any 2017 delivery likely would have to be ordered by this August, UBS said in a note.

The brokerage predicted Princess Cruises or Costa Cruises as the likely brands to get new tonnage, since Holland America Line already has a 2016 delivery and P&O Cruises will have had one in 2015, 'and those are not brands that need a new ship every year.'

Carnival Cruise Lines will just have taken delivery of a new ship in December 2016, so UBS doesn't expect an order for that brand, nor for AIDA Cruises, which will be wrapping a period of nine new ships in a 10-year period. And a delivery for Seabourn is set for 2016.

Carnival could order a platform that may be used for several brands, as it has done in the past, and UBS analyst Robin Farley said it would not be surprising for the company to place an order for unspecified brands.

After all, it has done that before.

Farley sees 'almost no chance' of Carnival ordering more than two to three ships a year, as the company has repeatedly stated. She thinks a one-ship order for 2017 would be more likely than a three-ship order. 

Orders are already known for Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises for 2017, 'so there would be little chance of any other cruise capacity coming in the industry that we don't already know about today,' Farley added. 'Even a potential Virgin cruise start-up would be extremely unlikely to order for 2017, in our view.'

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