Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company, has announced that it has secured an agreement with premier German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to construct a fourth Excel-class cruise ship for its eponymous Carnival Cruise Line brand. The ship, the 10th Excel-class vessel in the corporation’s fleet across four world-class brands, is scheduled to start service in Spring 2027.

The new 180,000-ton ship, which will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), will join the current Carnival Cruise Line Excel-class ships Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee. It will carry over 6,400 passengers. This new ship is Carnival Corporation’s first newbuild order in five years.

Christine Duffy, Carnival Cruise Line’s president, said, “Our Excel-class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests. As the world’s most popular cruise line, this new ship enables us to continue the growth of our incredible fleet as we welcome our loyal guests back to cruise more frequently and attract new-to-cruise guests to experience all that a Carnival cruise has to offer.”

Josh Weinstein, president and chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation said, “Building on our strong performance and growing momentum around the world, we are excited to resume our newbuild program and further enhance our global fleet with yet another state-of-the-art ship that will wow Carnival Cruise Line’s guests.” 

He added that with one newbuild scheduled for delivery in 2025, none for 2026, and this order as the only expected newbuild in 2027, the cruise line responsible capital approach will support utilizing our significant free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve its balance sheet, significantly reduce its leverage levels, and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders.

Weinstein said, “We are following through on our measured capacity growth strategy with the addition of one to two ships per year beginning in 2027, which will be allocated to our cruise lines that most need the capacity to satisfy outsized demand, delivering an attractive payback period. We also remain focused on driving revenue growth throughout our portfolio of world-class cruise lines by continuing to improve execution across all aspects of our operation, yielding higher return on invested capital.” 

“We are very pleased that the partnership between the MEYER Group and Carnival Corporation will continue with this new order,” stated Bernd Eikens, CEO of the MEYER Group.


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