HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) (NYSE:CUK) announced today it has reached an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri for the construction of four new cruise ships worth more than $2 billion, along with options for two additional vessels. The agreement calls for the construction of four new ships, one each for Costa, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, and Princess Cruises; options for two additional ships are for Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Line. The four new ships will add a collective 11,756 lower berths to the cruise operator’s fleet. Two of the orders have been placed in U.S. dollars and two others are in euros. Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman & CEO of Costa Crociere, commented: “Through this new building project for a mega cruise ship, which comes on top of another order placed in January this year, Costa confirms both the expectations of continued growth of the cruise industry and its own position as European market leader. It also signals our ongoing excellent relations with Fincantieri, which, thanks to its technical and productive capacity, produces ships that are technologically advanced and competitive. By virtue of this order, Costa and the group to which it belongs have guaranteed production continuity for the Sestri Ponente shipyards from 2001 to 2009.” According to Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison, “The agreement extends Carnival Corporation & plc’s new building program through 2009 while enabling the company to execute its strategy of expanding its North American and European brands. Fincantieri constructs some of the world’s most beautiful and technically advanced ships and this agreement enables us to expand our core North American and European brands at very competitive prices considering today’s unfavorable U.S. dollar/euro ratio,” he said. Commented Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono, “This agreement further demonstrates the excellent working relationship that exists between industry leaders Carnival Corporation & plc and Fincantieri. Carnival Corporation & plc operates some of the world’s most successful and recognizable cruise brands and we are delighted that the company has entrusted Fincantieri with nearly all of its new building projects.” The new ships and options include: — a 3,004-passenger ship for Costa expected to debut in summer 2009. A sister ship to the Costa Concordia, the 112,000-ton vessel will have an estimated all-in cost of $485 million and will be built at Fincantieri’s Genoa Sestri P. shipyard. — a 2,044-passenger ship, which will be the largest ever constructed for North American premium operator Holland America Line. With an estimated all-in cost of $450 million, the 86,000-ton Panamax vessel will be built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard. The ship is expected to enter service in summer 2008. There is also an option for a sister ship scheduled to debut in spring 2010. — a 3,100-passenger ship for North American premium brand Princess Cruises set to debut in fall 2008. A sister to the Emerald Princess, the 116,000-ton vessel will be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard at an approximate all-in cost of $570 million. — a 3,608-passenger cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Lines representing the largest vessel ever constructed for the contemporary North American operator. The 130,000-ton vessel, to be built at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard at an estimated all-in cost of 560 million euros, is expected to enter service in fall 2009. There is also an option for a sister ship scheduled to enter service in summer 2010. Including the four new vessels, Carnival Corporation & plc’s capacity growth for 2008 and 2009 is now expected to be 8.2 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively. The company’s order book now includes 16 new ships, 13 of which are being constructed by Fincantieri. Before the agreement reached today, Costa Cruise Lines, the number one cruise company in Italy, Europe and South America, launched its fleet expansion program in 2000 with the introduction and the order of some eight ships. Four of these have been commissioned from Fincantieri’s Genoa Sestri Ponente yards, with a total investment of around 2 billion euros, which include the flagships Costa Fortuna and Costa Magica, which entered service in November 2003 and November 2004, respectively; and the Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, the largest passenger ships flying the Italian flag, currently under construction with respective delivery dates of July 2006 and May 2007. Meanwhile, from 2000 the Company has doubled its sales, which topped the 1 billion euro mark in 2004. In the same period Costa has also virtually doubled the number of its total passengers (approximately 730,000 in 2004) and passenger days (almost 6 million in 2004). The Company forecasts that by the end of 2005 it will have recorded a 19% increase in the total number of guests this year, above the increase in its capacity for 2005 (up 17%). For reservations or more information, see a travel agent today, call 800-GO-COSTA or visit http://www.costacruises.com/ . Costa Cruises is a brand of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE:CCL) (NYSE:and) (NYSE:CUK) . Costa Cruises is RINA certified with the BEST 4, a highly structured system of certifications involving social responsibility (SA 8000, 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). Costa Cruises is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Windstar Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, our member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together we offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.