Carnival books new LNG-powered cruise ship at Meyer Werft

The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival Corporation & plc, has signed an agreement with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft for the construction of a new LNG-fueled Excel-class cruise ship.

Carnival Jubilee. Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line

This is the first newbuild order placed by Carnival Corporation in five years. It will be the tenth Excel-class ship in the corporation’s fleet across its four brands.

The new 180,000-ton ship will be powered on an LNG technology platform and have the capacity to carry over 6,400 guests.

Schedule to enter service in the spring of 2027, the new cruise ship will join current Carnival Cruise Line Excel-class ships Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and Carnival Jubilee.

“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,” said Josh Weinstein, CEO of Carnival Corporation.

“With one newbuild scheduled for delivery in 2025, none for 2026, and this order being our only expected newbuild in 2027, our responsible capital approach will support utilizing 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.

“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.” 

The cruise company recently said it was on track to achieve an overall 18% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity on a lower berth capacity basis in 2024 compared to 2019.

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