Carnival Corporation is ordering three new ships for two of its European-based brands. Costa Cruises is getting a 132,000gt 3,700-passenger ship from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard near Venice, while a Memorandum of Agreement has been signed with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to build two 125,000-ton, 3,250-passenger ships for Germany’s AIDA Cruises. The newbuilds are scheduled to be delivered in October 2014, March 2015 and March 2016.

The new Costa ship will be an evolution of the successful Concordia class and replaces the 1,025-passenger Costa Marina (1969/25,558gt), which leaves the fleet in November after 21 years of service and is the largest Costa ship yet ordered. The line recently took delivery of the 114,500gt, 3,000-passenger Costa Favolosa, which entered service in July, and a sister, Costa Fascinosa, is due next Spring.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have some experience of cruise ship design, having delivered Crystal Harmony (now sailing as Asuka II) to Crystal Cruises in 1990 and Sapphire Princess and Diamond Princess to Princess Cruises in 2004. Carnival Corporation now has ten ships on order, with three due for delivery in 2012, two each in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and one in 2016.