Cunard has announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet – its first new ship in 12 years.
The new 3,000 passenger ship, which will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard, was announced as Cunard marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the legendary QE2.
The new ship will join the fleet in 2022, joining Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
It will be the first time since 1998 that the brand has had four ships in service at the same time. The new build will be the 249th ship to fly the Cunard flag, according to the line.
Simon Palethorpe, senior vice president of Cunard, said: “We have only recently marked the 50th anniversary of one of Cunard’s much-loved ocean liners, the legendary QE2.
“What better way to celebrate her important role in Cunard’s past than by announcing our commitment to Cunard’s future with the commissioning of a new ship. Cunard offers unrivalled luxury ocean experiences and the new ship firmly underpins our plans to continue our growth across international markets.”
The news of Cunard’s expansion comes just a week after Silversea announced a new ship order.
Silversea said the move signalled buoyancy in the market. These two announcements are the latest sign of the strength of the luxury cruise sector, with Ritz-Carlton recently announcing its plans to enter the cruise sector with three yachts. Meanwhile, Celebrity Cruises has three ships on order, Ponant has four, and Crystal Cruises, Scenic, Seabourn and Star Clippers also have new vessels set to launch.