The video begins with Arison reminiscing about coming to the U.S. on Cunard’s Mauritania. It was 1954. Arison’s father, Ted, who founded Carnival, moved the family from Israel to New York where he thought there would be better business opportunities. Micky, who was 5, recalls going to school in New Jersey and being driven along the West Side Highway past the trans-Atlantic liners at the pier.
Little did he imagine at the time, Arison said, that he would grow up to play an important role in the cruise industry.
Arison said he got the idea for a liner like the Queen Mary 2 after seeing the film “Titanic,” with the nostalgic, romantic gloss it put on the ill-fated ship. The 1997 film was the first film to gross more than $1 billion.
In 1998, Carnival bought 68% of Cunard for $425 million, buying the rest later.
Arison said it is often misunderstood that Carnival conceived of the Queen Mary 2 after deciding to buy Cunard. The reality is (one of Arison’s favorite phrases) that Carnival conceived of the ship first and only bought Cunard because It needed the historic brand to make the concept work.
Ted Arison came to the U.S. via Cunard when immigration was at a low ebb. It had been 30 years since the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924 had been passed “to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity,” according to a State Department history. It would be another 10 before the law was liberalized by Congress after President Kennedy’s death.
America was as homogeneous as it would ever be in 1954. Yet it still had room for Ted Arison, born in Tel Aviv when it was part of British Palestine. That’s to America’s credit.
Open immigration is a blunt instrument. Some immigrants may turn out to be criminals. Most are ordinary like the rest of us. But some, perhaps a disproportionate number, are extraordinary, like Ted Arison. Is there any doubt that the U.S. economy is better off with Carnival Corp. headquartered in Miami instead of Tel Aviv?
Josh Leibowitz, senior vice president of Cunard North America, said the Arison video wasn’t created with the idea it would be widely distributed. But if there’s a Cunard sales event in your town, it will probably be shown. If you make time to see it you won’t be sorry.
Carnival Corp. said Thursday that it would add nine ships to its fleet between 2019 and 2022.
Carnival offered almost no details about the ship order. It did not specify which of its nine brands would get the new vessels or offer any information about their size, design or cost.
In a statement, Carnival said the new ships were expected to serve the North American, European and Chinese cruise markets, would be specifically designed and developed for their particular brands and would be the most efficient ships in Carnival history.
“We’re excited to take this next step in our fleet-enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time,” Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement.
The order is in line with Donald’s previous statements indicating that the company would restrict its growth to two to three ships per year across its fleet.
Carnival said it had signed memorandums of agreement with Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard to build five of the vessels and with Germany’s Meyer Werft to build four.
Additional information about the ships, such as their design and which brands they will be built for, will be revealed at a later date, Carnival said.
In announcing the new builds, the company indicated that Donald would be offering additional details about the new vessels during Carnival Corp.’s earnings call on Friday.
Carnival Corp. is the parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, Aida Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (U.K.).
Late last year it ordered one ship each from Fincantieri for Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line for delivery in 2018.
The company has added more than 30 ships to its combined fleets since 2007, and it has another nine scheduled to be delivered between 2015 and 2018, which Donald pointed out in December was about one vessel for each of its brands over the next four years.
This year, Carnival is adding two ships to its global fleet and removing four. The new vessels are P&O’s Britannia, which launched earlier this month, and the Aida Prima, set to debut later this year.