Carnival's cruise joint venture (JV) in China has signed a new memorandum of agreement (MoA) to order its first cruise ships to be built in the country.
Carnival’s JV will order two new cruise ships for use by Chinese travellers under the new deal, which will be built by a China-based shipbuilding JV between China State Shipbuilding (CSSC) and Italy’s Fincantieri.
The MoA also includes an option to order four additional China-built cruise ships.
The deal will also see Carnival provide onsite supervision and support during the construction of the ships, with the first expected for delivery by 2023.
Carnival will operate and manage all the cruise ships owned by its Chinese cruise JV upon delivery, with an aim to launch the first multi-ship cruise brand in China.
Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said: “We are proud to order the first China-built cruise ships and play a meaningful role in developing cruise shipbuilding capabilities for the first time in China.
“This represents another important milestone in building a sustainable and prosperous cruise industry, and demonstrates our commitment to contributing to China become a leading cruise market as part of its five-year economic development plan.”
Carnival announced its cruise JV with CSSC in 2015, and plans to launch a cruise brand in China using ships that are purchased from the company’s existing fleet.
The company previously entered an initial shipbuilding MoA in September last year, which ultimately formed the basis of the latest MoA.
Carnival currently has a portfolio of ten cruise brands, which jointly operate 102 ships.