More than four years after first floating the idea, Carnival on Tuesday rolled out plans for its China-based cruise joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
The company, called CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, will start sailing by the end of next year using a ship transferred from Costa Group, a Carnival Corp. brand. And it plans to add as many as seven more to create a multi-ship, China-focused brand.
Costa Atlantic, a 2,210-passenger vessel, will be the first ship to join the new brand’s fleet and will eventually be joined by Costa Mediterranea, a sister ship with 2,114 passengers. The purchase price of the two ships was not available.
The venture also signed a contract to order two new China-built ships — firming up an earlier agreement — with the option to order four more. The first is expected to be finished by 2023.
Carnival has a minority interest in the partnership.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding is building the vessels through a separate joint venture with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, which is providing support throughout the process as well as a license of the ship platform. Carnival would not say what the platform will be, but the new ships will be designed to serve the Chinese market.
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