P&O Cruises’ parent company Carnival Corporation has signed a contract with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft for the construction of a second next-generation cruise ship for its P&O Cruises brand.
Due in 2022, the as-yet un-named cruise ship will be 180,000-gross tons and have a passenger capacity of 5,200, a full 1,000 more than P&O’s current largest cruise ship Britannia.
The cruise ship will feature an industry-first “green-cruising” design and will enter service in 2022, two years after her sister ship, which Carnival has also ordered for P&O.
Both ships will have dual-fuel engines utilising LNG for power in port and at sea, with cleaner air emissions and improved air quality.
This new cruise ship for P&O will be the largest ever built specifically for the British cruise market, a distinction currently held by P&O Britannia.
The new cruise ships for P&O are colossal, almost the same size as Britannia (left) and Oceana (right) combined.
In a departure from the norm for modern cruise ships, both new ships will also be registered in the UK rather than one of the ‘flag of convenience’ flag states, such as Panama or Bermuda, which are usually used by cruise lines.
The new ship is part of Carnival Corporation’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 19 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2018 and 2022.
“We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary on-board experience,” says Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein.
“These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth,” he added.
P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow says that the new ship is part of a strategy undertaken by the cruise line to try and become the largest holiday company in the UK.
“We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet,” he said.
“The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships.”
“In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22 percent capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers,” he said.
“Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing on-board and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers,” he added.
In addition to increasing the size of its fleet, P&O Cruises is also breaking into new cruise markets and offering new cruise destination for British cruise passengers. For the first time ever, P&O Cruises will homeport in the Middle East cruise market, cruising roundtrip out of Dubai in the Arabian Gulf during the upcoming cruise season.
P&O Cruises is promising “innovative new experiences” aboard the two new ships, given their larger size, but Ludlow has declined to provide further information until nearer to September, when cruises aboard the first of the two new ships will go on sale.
In total, Carnival Corporation has agreements in place with leading German and Finnish shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku to build eight LNG-powered cruise ships across four of its 10 global cruise brands with delivery dates between 2018 and 2022.
Two are for AIDA Cruises with expected delivery dates in 2018 and 2021, two for Costa Cruises with expected delivery dates in 2019 and 2021, two for P&O Cruises UK with expected delivery dates in 2020 and 2022 and two for Carnival Cruise Line with expected delivery dates in 2020 and 2022.