Cruise operator Carnival Corporation has signed two strategic memorandums of agreement to build a total of nine new cruise ships over a four-year period between 2019 and 2022.

Under these agreements, Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and Germany’s Meyer Werft will each build new ships based on Carnival’s next-generation ship designs.

These new agreements, which also include options for additional ships, are subject to several conditions such as satisfactory financing.

"Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that."

Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald: "Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that.

"These will be the most efficient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising, helping new cruisers realise the superior vacation experience and value that cruising offers versus land-based vacations."

Fincantieri is to initially build five ships at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy. Meyer Werft will build the remaining four ships at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, and Turku, Finland.

The new vessels will be deployed in North America and Europe, as well as newer markets, including China.

As part of company’s fleet enhancement strategy for this year, its UK brand P&O Cruises launched the new flagship, Britannia, earlier this month.

Carnival’s AIDA Cruises fleet will also be expanded with AIDAprima later this year. As a result of these additions, the company is expected to remove four ships from the fleet.