Costa Cruises is to build two 6,600 passenger ships, making the vessels the largest in the world by capacity.
The Carnival Corporation-owned brand will launch the new ships in 2019 and 2020. The two vessels will be built at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, and will be the first ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
The announcement of the new ships for Costa is a significant statement about the brand’s recovery following the Costa Concordia tragedy in 2012.
The Costa new builds will have 600 more passengers than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, which will remain the largest cruise ships in the world by size.
Costa’s ship order is part of parent Carnival Corporation’s multibillion dollar contract with two Meyer shipyards in Finland and Germany.
Carnival’s deal with the shipyards is for a total of nine new ships between 2019 and 2022, including the two newly announced Costa ships.
Michael Thamm, chief executive of the Costa group, said: “These ships will expand the leadership position for the Costa Group, the market leader in all major continental European markets.
“The multibillion dollar contract with Meyer mirrors our strategy to constantly innovate our vacation offers and to deliver an unmatched cruise experience to our guests.”
Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, said: “The two Costa ships are a real innovation for the market, setting new standards for the whole industry: they will be the first green ships powered with LNG and they will offer an extensive number of guest-friendly features.
“The order also confirms that the Costa brand will continue to grow, becoming even stronger and keep on generating a positive economic impact in the main countries where it operates, including Italy.”