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Costa to build two Chinese cruise ships

Italian cruise giant Costa is planning build its first two vessels specifically for the Chinese market.

The cruise line’s parent company, Carnival Corporation, has penned an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build four new ships by 2020, including the two bespoke Chinese vessels. These new Asian ships are expected to be delivered to Costa in 2019 and 2020.

The other two new ships include a 135,500-ton, 4,200-passenger vessel for P&O Cruises Australia, and a 143,700-ton, 3,560-passenger ship for Princess Cruises.

“We are confident that China will become one of the most pre-eminent cruise markets,” said Buhdy Bok, Costa Group’s president for Asia. “The two new ships that will be tailor-made for the Chinese market will further enhance our Asia fleet and provide Chinese travellers with a variety of vacation options and experiences to meet growing demand across all segments of the market”.

Like the new P&O ship, the two new Costa vessels will be 135,500 gross tons and able to carry up to 4,200 passengers. They will provide “an authentic Italian and European experience for Chinese guests”, according to Costa, with “high-quality hospitality, style, cuisine and entertainment”.

Specific information about the ship’s onboard amenities will be revealed in the coming months.

Costa became the first international cruise company to enter the Chinese market back in 2006. At present, the company deploys three ships in Asia year-round: Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Serena. A fourth ship, Costa Fortuna, will be added in April 2016.

Late last year two other Carnival Corporation brands, Carnival Cruises and AIDA Cruises, announced plans to base their first ships in China. And a new Princess Cruises ship, which is currently under construction, is also being designed specifically for Chinese guests.