Carnival Cruise Line to add fourth Excel-class ship

Author: Kaye Holland

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A fourth Excel-class ship is to be built for Carnival Cruise Line

The 6,400-passenger vessel is the first new-build order placed by parent company Carnival Corporation in five years.

The ship, which like its sister ships will be powered by liquified natural gas, will be constructed by German shipbuilder Meyer Werft and is expected to enter service in 2027.

“Our Excel class ships have been a tremendous addition to the Carnival fleet and proven very popular with our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

“As the world’s most popular cruise line, this new ship enables us to continue the growth of our incredible fleet as we welcome our loyal guests back to cruise more frequently and attract new-to-cruise guests to experience all that a Carnival cruise has to offer.”

Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation, said: “Building on our strong performance and growing momentum around the world, we are excited to resume our newbuild program and further enhance our global fleet with yet another state-of-the-art ship that will wow Carnival Cruise Line’s guests.

“With one new-build scheduled for delivery in 2025, none for 2026, and this order being our only expected new-build in 2027, our responsible capital approach will support utilising our substantial free cash flow over the next several years to strategically improve our balance sheet, significantly reduce our leverage levels and continue to transfer value from debt holders to shareholders.”

He continued: “We are following through on our measured capacity growth strategy with the addition of one to two ships per year beginning in 2027, which will be allocated to our cruise lines that most need the capacity to satisfy outsized demand, delivering an attractive payback period.

“We also remain focused on driving revenue growth throughout our portfolio of world-class cruise lines by continuing to improve execution across all aspects of our operation, yielding higher return on invested capital.”

Bernd Eikens, CEO at the Meyer Group, said: “We are very pleased that the partnership between the Meyer Group and Carnival Corporation will continue with this new order.”

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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]