Carnival Corporation has signed two memorandums of agreement for nine cruise ships to be built by Fincantieri and Meyer Werft.

The agreement will see space at the shipyards occupied as nine vessels are built and launched over a four-year period between 2019 and 2022. The agreements are subject to several conditions, including satisfactory financing, but do contain options for additional vessels at later dates.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft will each build new ships, dubbed “next-generation ships”. Fincantieri will develop and construct five ships at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy while Meyer Werft will build its four ships at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, and Turku, Finland.

The cruise ships, expected to cost between £470 million and £540 million each, will be designed as the most efficient ships in Carnival Corporation’s history.

Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, said “We’re excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time. Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that. These will be the most efficient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising – helping new cruisers realise the superior vacation experience and value that cruising offers versus land-based vacations.”

The cruise ships are expected to serve cruise markets in North America and Europe, as well as emerging markets including China.

Further details on cruise ship designs, and which of the company’s global brands will benefit from these new vessels will be revealed at a later date. Carnival Corporation owns a number of cruise brands including Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Costa Cruises, AIDA, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Seabourn.

Carnival Corporation currently has 101 ships in its global fleet and has several ships on order for delivery before 2019. Luxury brand Seabourn will take delivery of a new cruise ship next year and another in 2018. Princess Cruises will take delivery of a ship in 2017 and both Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line will take delivery of ships in 2016 and 2018.

UPDATE: Four ships have been ordered, with two destined for the AIDA Cruises fleet and the remaining pair destined for the Costa Cruises fleet.

UPDATE:  A further four ships have been ordered, destined for P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and Costa Asia.

(Photo credit to CarnivalPR)