Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

With new order Carnival Cruise Line gets another Excel-class ship, in 2028

Carnival Cruise Line will have a fleet of five Excel-class ships in 2028
Carnival Corp. & plc ordered a fifth Excel-class ship for Carnival Cruise Line with delivery from Meyer Werft set for 2028.

This closely follows mid-February's order of a fourth Excel-class ship for the Carnival brand — Carnival Corp.'s first newbuild order placed in five years — for delivery in spring 2027.

11th Excel ship for the corporation

With today's announcement, this makes an 11th Excel-class ship for the corporation's fleet across four brands. 

'Since the introduction of Mardi Gras in 2021 and the subsequent expansion with Carnival Celebration in 2022 and Carnival Jubilee in 2023, these Excel-class ships are driving excitement, demand and strong guest satisfaction ratings,' Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy said. 'With the arrival of Carnival Firenze in April, we are completing the addition of five ships to our fleet in less than 20 months, and then we will pivot to another phase of growth with these two Excel ships.'

This fifth Excel-class ship will be built on the same platform as its sisters, with the 180,000gt ship powered by LNG. The ship will have capacity for more than 6,400 passengers and 1,800 crew.

On the eve of Q1 financial results

The news comes on the eve of Carnival Corp. reporting first quarter financial results Wednesday.

'This new order continues to balance our commitment to growth with our responsible capital approach to utilize strong free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve our balance sheet, significantly reduce our leverage levels and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders,' Carnival Corp. & plc CEO Josh Weinstein said.

One or two ship additions a year starting in 2027

He added: 'Carnival Cruise Line continues to perform at an outstanding level, and we are focused on adding capacity across the company where it aligns with demand and our position in the marketplace. This measured capacity growth strategy will result in our adding one to two ships per year beginning in 2027, and we will be identifying additional fleet plans over the coming months for our cruise lines to meet capacity demand and improve execution across all aspects of our operation, with the benefit of yielding higher return on invested capital.'

Carnival Corp. has Queen Anne coming this year and Star Princess in 2025. There are no 2026 deliveries.

Mutual success story

Meyer Group CEO Bernd Eikens expressed pride in the role that Excel-class ships from Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku have played in 'contributing to the success of Carnival Corporation for many years now.'

He added: 'We look forward to continuing this success story together.'