Robin Farley, a well respected Wall Street analyst for UBS Investment Research, recently predicted a two ship expansion for Carnival Corporation by 2017.
In her letter to a group of cruise industry investors, Farley predicts Carnival Corporation will place an order for two new ships by the end of August with an expected delivery sometime in 2017. Farley continues in the letter stating the two best suited lines for the new orders would be Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises. By 2017, both lines will not have taken possession of a new ship in nearly three years.
Currently, Carnival Corporation’s other brands, including Carnival, Holland America Line, and Seabourn have ships on order with expected delivery dates in early and late 2016. Farley states Carnival Corporation would most likely place the two orders to increase capacity, allowing the company to better compete against Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC Cruises, all three of which recently placed orders for newer, larger ships.
With the potential ship orders, Farley suggests Carnival Corporation may not initially designate which lines will receive the new builds. Rather, Carnival Corporation would build two identical ships, designating their lines at a later time during construction. This new method of ordering and construction would allow Carnival Corporation to create a streamlined ship design, moving forward with construction, and determining which lines requires the additional capacity at a later date.
The two ship order, if placed, would cost Carnival Corporation approximately $1.4 to $1.7 billion. At this time, the company has not responded to the speculation nor have they made any announcements regarding new ship orders.