Small ship Ocean Princess is to be sold by parent company Carnival Corporation as a third new vessel is poised to join the brand.

The disclosure came from Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald while delivering third quarter results.

The company announced in July that Princess Cruises, which marks its 50th anniversary next year, is to receive a third 3,600-passenger sister ship to Royal Princess and Regal Princess in 2017.

Donald said: “In keeping with our company’s strategy of measured capacity growth, this will be our only new build in 2017.

“And we also have plans underway to sell the smaller Ocean Princess.”

The 688-passenger vessel was built in 1999 as one of eight identical ships for the defunct line Renaissance Cruises and joined Princess Cruises 14 years ago originally as Tahitian Princess.

Regal Princess is to be named in Fort Lauderdale in Florida on November 5.

Two days later, Carnival Corporation European brand Costa Cruises names newcomer Costa Diadema in Genoa.

Reflecting on a strong summer performance, Donald said: “There is a notable lengthening in the booking curve, particularly across our European brands and bookings taken during the last quarter are running ahead at higher prices in both North America and Europe for the first half of next year.”