Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has finalised a contract with Carnival cruise valued at more than €3bn to build five next-generation passenger ships.

The development follows the signing of a memorandum agreement by the companies last December.

The finalisation of the agreement has been supported by the export credit system lead by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti to maintain the efficiency of the ‘Italian system’.

“Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is an important part of our measured growth strategy.”

Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said: "These new ships will create a whole new level of excitement and opportunity to deliver experiences that our guests will not only remember for the rest of their lives, but will also share with others.

"Using our strategic fleet enhancement plan to delight our guests is an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time".

The construction of these ships will take place at the shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera between 2019-2020.

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By GlobalData

Costa Crociere brand Costa Asia will acquire two of the new ships, while the other two will be delivered to Princess Cruises, with a further ship acquired by P&O Cruises Australia.

The new vessels will be designed to tailor to the specific brands and the guests they will serve.

The ships to be delivered to Costa Asia and P&O Australia will be 135,500t vessels, able to accommodate 4,200 passengers on-board.

Princess Cruises will be delivered with a 143,700t vessel, with a passenger carrying capacity of 3,560, and will be the brand’s fourth and fifth vessel of the ‘Royal Princess’ class, after ‘Royal’, ‘Regal’ and ‘Majestic’, which were all built at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone.

The finalisation is also said to be very close to Fincantieri’s delivery of the new cruise ship Koningsdam for Carnival Group’s Holland America Line.

This week, Fincantieri secured a €422m contract from Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) to build the sister ship of Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) brand.