P&O Cruises is to have a second 3,000-passenger ship enter its fleet after parent company Carnival signed an agreement with Italian shipyard Fincantieri.
The new ship, that will enter service in 2011, will be the same structurally as the new Ventura, the largest ship ever built for a British cruiseline that will increase P&O Cruises’ capacity by 30% when it enters service next year.
P&O Cruises managing director, David Dingle said: “This latest order results from the strong continuing growth of the cruise market in the UK. Each of the new ships that we have built for Britain has increased the demand for cruising through a reputation for innovation, style and customer service.
“Our projections indicate that we will require further new capacity to meet this additional demand by 2010.”
The new ship will cost €535 million and is the 20th newbuild currently on order by the world’s largest cruise operator Carnival which has put back the delivery date for a new Carnival ship that was announced in December.
Chairman and chief executive of Carnival Corporation Micky Arison said: “It had been our intention all along to schedule delivery of the P&O Cruises ship for 2010 and the Carnival Cruise Lines vessel for 2011.
“However, because we completed the agreement for the Carnival newbuild first, we temporarily placed it in the first available shipyard slot pending finalization of the P&O Cruises agreement.”