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With one foot in its illustrious past and the other focused on future expansion and efficiency, Cunard Line announced in September that it will add a fourth ship to its fleet. The newbuild, which will carry 3,000 passengers and debut in 2022, will be the first new ship from the company since the launch of Queen Mary 2 (QM2) in 2004.
In 2015, the historic luxury line hosted crowds of more than 1 million people to celebrate its 175th anniversary. Now, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), shipbuilding company Fincantieri and Carnival Corporation & Plc, parent company of Cunard, have announced this new step in Cunard’s long history: the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the construction of a next-generation ship. The investment underlines Carnival’s commitment to Cunard’s future.
“Cunard continues the legacy of our liners with the commissioning of a magnificent new ship,” said Josh Leibowitz, chief strategy officer and senior vice president of North America for Cunard. “It’s an especially fitting time, with the recent 50th anniversary of the beloved QE2 marking the occasion. We are proud to share Cunard’s enduring luxury liner experience with future generations to be enjoyed the world over."
The newbuild will join QM2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth to total four Cunard ships in service simultaneously for the first time since 1998. The company has recently invested more than $172 million to refurbish QM2 and Queen Victoria.
The new, yet-to-be-named vessel will be the 249th in Cunard’s long line of ships in 176-plus years on the sea.
“Fleet enhancement is an important part of our ongoing goal to exceed guest expectations,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation & Plc. “This includes replacing less efficient ships with more efficient vessels over time as part of our managed capacity growth.”
Donald notes that Cunard is a legendary brand in the vacation industry.
“We also look forward to launching this next-generation cruise ship to help meet increasing global demand and entice even more travelers to explore the Cunard experience," he said.
Disney Cruise Line will add a seventh ship to its fleet.