P&O Cruises UK’s Britannia, the biggest ship designed exclusively for Britain, was christened today in official naming ceremony; AIDA Cruises’ AIDAprima will begin service later this year, the second of 10 ships scheduled to be delivered to Carnival Corporation’s fleet between 2015 and 2018
Carnival Corporation & plc launched P&O Cruises UK’s newest ship, Britannia, in a naming ceremony held today in Southampton, England, to commemorate its entry into service for the P&O Cruises fleet. Christening the ship was Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, officially naming P&O Cruises’ new flagship. Britannia, the first of two new ships joining Carnival Corporation’s fleet in 2015, will be joined later this year by AIDA’s new flagship vessel, AIDAprima, when it begins regular service this fall.
The 3,657-passenger Britannia, the biggest ship designed exclusively for Britain, will embark on her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean and during her maiden season will also sail to the Norwegian Fjords, Canary Islands and the Baltic Sea, as well as offering a range of short breaks and a special “round-Britain” cruise. The 143,000-ton ship will then transfer to the Caribbean for the winter season sailing a range of 15 night fly/cruise itineraries from Barbados.
Carnival Corporation President & CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival UK Chairman David Dingle and Carnival UK CEO David Noyes along with distinguished guests, government officials and the ship’s crew helped welcome Britannia to the fleet at today’s naming ceremony.
Donald said, “These amazing new ships are part of our fleet enhancement strategy that will see 10 new ships join our fleet in the next three years. More importantly, every one of our ships plays a key role in helping us meet our goal to consistently exceed guest expectations on every voyage, and to give our guests the vacation of a lifetime, every time they cruise with us.”
The new flagship of AIDA Cruises, AIDAprima, will join its fleet in fall 2015 as the most environmentally friendly cruise ship to date, Carnival said. It will kick off its service with a 50-day journey from Yokohama, Japan, to Dubai. Following its maiden voyage, AIDAprima will offer seven-day-cruises from Dubai. In spring 2016, it will head to Hamburg, Germany, where it will have its homeport, making AIDA Cruises the first cruise line to have a ship based in Germany year-round. Starting on April 30, 2016, AIDAprima will make the first of its all-season seven-day journeys through Western Europe. The 124,100-ton vessel will be able to accommodate 3,300 passengers and will feature a variety of world-class entertainment, on-board activities, dining, shopping and relaxation offerings.
In addition to these two ships, Carnival Corporation will welcome ships from five of its nine global brands in the next three years. The brands include AIDA Cruises, Holland America Line (two ships), Carnival Cruise Line (two ships), Seabourn (two ships) and Princess Cruises. All told, Carnival Corporation has refreshed its global fleet – the largest in the world – with more than 30 new ship additions since 2007, including two ships launched in late 2014, Regal Princess and Costa Diadema.
In 2016, Carnival Cruise Line is scheduled to debut Carnival Vista, a 133,500-ton ship that will be the largest ever in its fleet, and Holland America Line will launch its newest ship, the 99,500-ton ms Koningsdam, a new Pinnacle Class ship that can carry 2,650 passengers. Also in 2016, AIDA will introduce a new sister ship to the AIDAprima with capacity for 3,300 passengers, while Seabourn will unveil its newest luxury ship, expected to be the biggest ever built by the brand with the ability to serve 604 passengers.
Looking forward to 2017, Princess Cruises is working with Fincantieri to build a 3,560 passenger, 143,000-ton vessel featuring the highly popular design elements introduced by the brand's two newest ships, sisters Royal Princess and Regal Princess.
In addition to these new ships, Carnival Corporation continues to expand its fleet leadership with upgrades and refurbishments to existing ships. In 2015 alone, the company plans upgrades or refurbishments on 17 ships across six of its brands. The 2015 refurbishment plans include two former Holland America Line ships transferred to P&O Cruises Australia that will undergo complete refurbishment before sailing as Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden starting in November 2015. The renovated ships will offer a new level of comfort and style with onboard features tailored for Australian and New Zealand passengers, as Carnival Corporation boosts its industry-leading presence in the world's fastest-growing cruise market.