Carnival Cruise Line Orders a Fifth Excel-Class Ship

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In a surprise announcement, Carnival Corporation revealed it will build a fifth Excel-class ship for its Carnival Cruise Line brand. The disclosure came just six weeks after the parent company signed an agreement to construct a fourth ship in the class for its flagship cruise line.

Latest New-Build to Enter Service in 2028

Carnival Corporation, operator of nine global cruise brands, signed a contract with Germany’s Meyer Werft shipyard to construct a fifth Excel-class vessel for Carnival Cruise Line, with a scheduled entry to service in 2028.

The ship, as yet unnamed, is the second Excel-class new-build to be announced in just over a month. In mid-February 2024, Carnival Corporation revealed it signed an agreement with the same shipyard to build the brand’s fourth ship in the class — a sister ship to existing Excel vessels Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee. The fourth in the series is due to launch in 2027.

Carnival’s Excel-class fleet will soon be a quintet of these very popular ships that provide outstanding guest amenities and tremendous operating efficiencies,said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line

“Since the introduction of Mardi Gras in 2021 and the subsequent expansion with Carnival Celebration in 2022 and Carnival Jubilee in 2023, these Excel-class ships are driving excitement, demand, and strong guest satisfaction ratings,” Duffy added.

Carnival Excel-Class Cruise Ships
Carnival Excel-Class Cruise Ships

The Excel-class ships, all with gross tonnage exceeding 180,000 and powered by LNG (liquified natural gas), pioneered new onboard spaces and activities, such as the first rollercoaster at sea on Mardi Gras. Ships in the class accommodate 6,400 guests with all berths occupied, and 1,800 crew.

The newly announced fifth in the class will be the 11th Excel ship across the full Carnival Corporation fleet. Other Excel-class ships include P&O Cruises’ Arvia and Iona, for instance.

Executive Hints at More Fleet Changes Coming

Carnival Corporation brands reported robust financials in 2023, with revenues beating expectations and spurring future growth. In the third quarter of last year, the company posted total revenue of just over $6 billion, and net income of $1.07 billion.

Carnival Cruise Line continues to perform at an outstanding level, and we are focused on adding capacity across the company where it aligns with demand and our position in the marketplace,said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation.

The top executive added that the latest ship order for Carnival Cruise Line shows the company’s commitment to growth. Moreover, he indicated there will be more “fleet plans” in the coming months to meet capacity demands across the company’s brands.

Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems
Carnival Jubilee Conveyance on the Ems (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Shipyard executives hailed the new ship order, which is contingent on financing and expected to be finalized later in 2024.

Read Also: All Carnival Cruise Ships By Age: Newest to Oldest

We are proud of the role the Excel-class from Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku has played in contributing to the success of Carnival Corporation for many years now. We look forward to continuing this success story together,said Bernd Eikens, CEO of Meyer Group.

Carnival Cruise Line’s existing Excel-class ships are all operating from US ports. Mardi Gras is based at Port Canaveral. The 180,000-gross ton ship operates 6- to 8-day Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.

Carnival Celebration, home-ported at PortMiami, weighs 183,521 gross tons and sails 6- to 8-day Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries.

The 182,800-gross ton Carnival Jubilee, voted Best New Cruise Ship of 2023 in Cruise Hive’s annual awards, sails 7-day Western Caribbean cruises from Galveston, Texas.

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