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Carnival Mega Ship?  Reports of a 208,000 GT Cruise Ship Sparked by Shipyard Rumors

The recent radio silence from Carnival Corp. about future cruise ships in the works is fueling shipyard speculation.

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Carnival corp ship being built by Fincantieri
Photo 113970762 © Mauro Carli |

Last September, Fincantieri CEO Pierroberto Folgiero’s sublte mention of “ships in the oven” sparked rumors about a possible order from Carnival.   But now an Italian maritime publication is fanning the flames with recent revelations.

Unconfirmed reports from SHIPPING ITALY indicate that Carnival Corporation may be preparing to make a record-breaking order with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri.

208,000 gross tons and 7,000 passengers

According to sources, Carnival is poised to commission the construction of the largest cruise ships ever built in Italy, with each vessel boasting a gross tonnage of 208,000 tons and accommodating nearly 7,000 passengers.

These new ships are expected to eclipse the size and capacity of the current largest Italian-built ship, the Sun Princess, which has a gross tonnage of 175,500 tons and can accommodate 4,300 cruise passengers.

The new ship class, inspired by the prototype units under construction for Princess Cruises, will reportedly cost at least $1.6 billion each, making the total contract worth almost $7 billion.

The size of these ships would be 12% larger than the Excel-class vessels.

Sun Princess at the shipyard under construction
Sun Princess at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. Photo Credit: Cruise Fever

When would these ships be delivered?

The first delivery of these four rumored ships is slated for late 2028 or early 2029. Initially, the agreement includes four new vessels, with the first few likely destined for the Carnival Cruise Line, while the latter could potentially be allocated to Costa Cruises.

These rumors follow recent visits by top Carnival Corporation executives to Fincantieri in Italy, fueling speculation about the impending deal.

However, neither Carnival Corporation nor Fincantieri has confirmed these reports.

If true, this significant investment by Carnival could signal a robust recovery and future growth strategy.

But until confirmed, these reports remain speculative and their potential impact on Carnival’s business and the broader cruise industry is uncertain.

Costa ship coming to Carnival

In June of 2022, Carnival announced that Costa Firenze would be transferred to Carnival Cruise Line and have a new ‘Carnival Fun Italian Style” paint job.

Following its initial season with Costa Cruises, the Carnival Firenze is scheduled to join the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in Spring 2024. The ship will undergo rebranding and renovations before welcoming its new passengers.

Carnival’s newest ships

Carnival Jubilee was the latest Carnival ship to be launched by the cruise line after the success of Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.  It was the third of the 180,000 GT Excel-class lineup of ships, the largest in Carnival’s fleet.

To put these reports into perspective, the massive Excel-class ships are capable of accommodating 6,500 guests at maximum capacity and over 5,200 at double-capacity.

We will keep our readers updated as we hear more on this story and as Carnival announces details about upcoming ships and projects.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
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