Capacity Growth In Focus as Three Major Players Trade Ship Orders

While investors eye concerns about cruise industry capacity growth, the three major cruise corporations traded ship orders back and forth to open the month of July, pushing the orderbook to 110 ships. 

Following Royal Caribbean Cruises’ acquisition of Silversea Cruises in June, Carnival Corporation made its move, ordering a pair of two luxury expedition newbuilds for its top-end Seabourn brand to open the month.

The 264-guest vessels will enter service in 2022 and 2023, respectively, and are being built under a partnership between T. Marrotti and Damen.

It marks Carnival’s first dedicated small-ship expedition project, having traditionally had one larger Seabourn ship in Antarctica each season.

The news added to the already surging expedition market, with now over 30 new ships set to enter expedition service by 2023, according to the2018 Expedition Market Report by Cruise Industry News.

The expedition segment of the industry is among the most varied market niches, with some 31 different cruise lines involved.

On July 12, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings firmed up two options with Fincantieri for the fifth and sixth ships in its 140,000-ton Leonardo-class project. The vessels will be delivered starting in 2022.

With the Norwegian Bliss entering service in 2018, Norwegian will get another Breakaway-class ship in 2019, followed by the six Leonardo-class newbuilds. The company also has a new ship on order for Regent Seven Seas, with a 2020 delivery date.

A day later, it was Royal Caribbean Cruises and TUI Cruises confirming a two-ship order with a prototype platform for the German brand. The new 161,000-ton ships will be added to TUI’s fleet in 2024 and 2026, and run on LNG power. The vessels will be built by Fincantieri.

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