This was definitely the new cruise ship announcement week. Carnival Corporation let out its plans for a newbuild for its Carnival Cruise Lines brand and another newbuild for its Holland America Line brand, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited confirmed that rumors speculating on a third Oasis-class ship for Royal Caribbean International are indeed true.

Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line

The ship announced for Carnival is a 135,000 gross ton vessel of an entirely new class, which will make it the largest cruise ship ever built for the cruise line. The last Carnival ship to join the fleet was the 128,000 gross ton Carnival Breeze (pictured above) which presented a more subdued décor than that of her previous fleetmates as well as the inclusion of the latest Carnival Fun Ship 2.0 initiative features – the line’s latest brand incarnation. The new 4,000-passenger ship will be built at the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and is scheduled to be completed in the winter of 2016.

The new vessel for Holland America will also represent a new class of cruise ship as well as the line’s largest in the fleet at 99,000 gross Panamax tons – a size exceeding the current dimensions of the Panama Canal. The ship will follow five-years behind the introduction of the line’s last new ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam (seen below), and will also be built at Fincantieri in Italy with a delivery date of fall 2015. The as yet unnamed “dam” ship will accommodate 2,660 passengers.


Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam
(Copyright © Holland America Line)

These two newbuilds bring the total number of upcoming ship deliveries for Carnival Corporation to nine with two in 2013, two in 2014, three in 2015 and two in 2016 divided amongst the company’s cruise brands. Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation, indicated that these new ships are expected, to a degree, to displace some of the company’s current hardware, most likely anticipating the impending sale of some of the company’s older ships.

Arison added, ”today’s order continues the company’s strategy of introducing two to three ships per year across the corporation’s 10 brands. We have strategically timed the introduction of these new ships to allow ample time for those brands to further grow their passenger base and absorb the new capacity while minimizing revenue yield dilution in the remainder of their existing fleets.”

Royal Caribbean International

As reported by Gene Sloan at USA Today, Royal Caribbean also announced this week that the company is in fact exploring its options for building a third Oasis-class ship behind the 225,000 gross ton sister ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, proposed that a third ship could be announced officially later this year with a delivery in 2016. This would follow the 2014 and 2015 launch of two smaller vessels – dubbed Project Sunshine – currently on order from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. Read our previous report on Project Sunshine here.


The Massive Oasis of the Seas During Construction
(Copyright © Royal Caribbean International)

Describing the appeal of a third ship, Fain said, “Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas have proven themselves to be exceptionally attractive ships by generating the highest guest satisfaction ratings in the fleet coupled with very compelling financial returns.” What remains to be seen is what this third Oasis-class ship would be called. The naming of the first two ships was determined by a contest, and Utopia of the Seas was an unused name floating around at the time. So could the Utopia of the Seas finally become a reality? Only time will tell.

These announcements come in the wake of Norwegian Cruise Line’s own new cruise ship revelation for the Norwegian Breakaway Plus, as the project is known for the time being. View our article about Norwegian’s new ship here including the first concept rendering of the vessel.

Are you excited about these announcements? What would you name the new Carnival and Holland America ships? Does the Utopia of the Seas sound like a good ship name to you? And what’s a good name for the Norwegian Breakaway Plus? Let us know in the comments section below…

HEADER IMAGE SOURCE: CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES

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