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Carnival Corporation

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Carnival Corporation

Carnival Corporation & plc
Dual-listed public company
Traded as S&P 500 Component
Industry Hospitality, tourism
Headquarters Miami, Florida, US
Southampton, England, UK
Area served Worldwide
Key people Micky Arison
Howard Frank
(Vice Chairman and COO)
Arnold W. Donald
Services Cruise line
Revenue US$15.382 billion (2012)[1]
Operating income US$01.642 billion (2012)[1]
Net income US$01.298 billion (2012)[1]
Employees 86,800 (2012)

Carnival Corporation & plc ("Carnival") is a global cruise company, and the world's largest cruise ship operator. Comprising Carnival plc, which can trace its origin back to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company of the early 19th century, the company has a claim to be the world's oldest established cruise ship operator, with P&O having introduced the world's first passenger ships in 1844.

Carnival is a dual listed company, with headquarters at Carnival Place in the Miami suburb of Doral, Florida, USA.[2][3][4] along with a sales office Carnival House in Southampton, Hampshire, England. The constituent corporation and plc are separate listed companies and have different shareholders, but they jointly own all the operating companies in the group. Carnival Corporation owns the majority stake; however as part of Carnival Corps acquisition of P&O Princess Cruises in 2002 it was agreed that P&O Princess would be relisted as Carnival plc in London, remaining a separate company with a predominantly British shareholder body and largely retaining the P&O Princess executive team.[5][6][7]


Carnival comprises eleven individual cruise line brands, operating a combined fleet of over 100 ships, totalling over 190,000 lower berths, and with new ships on order.[2][8] Executive control of each brand is by geographical location, with Carnival Corporation controlling operations in North America, Carnival UK controlling operations in the United Kingdom (including operations of Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, P&O Australia and Cunard Line) and Costa Cruises Group controlling operations in the rest of Europe. P&O Cruises Australia is operated by Carnival UK as a sister company of P&O Cruises.

The company also operated the Ocean Village brand from 2003 to 2010.

In 2011 the combined brands of Carnival Corporation controlled a 49.2% share of the total worldwide cruise market.[9]

Carnival Corporation


Carnival Corporation was initially formed in 1972 under the name Carnival Cruise Lines by the late cruise industry pioneer Ted Arison. It made an initial public offering of 20% of its common stock in 1987. This provided capital that allowed the company to begin its expansion through acquisition. The first acquisition was operator Holland America Line (this included Windstar Cruises and Holland America Tours) in 1989, followed by Seabourn Cruise Line in 1992. In 1993 the company changed its name to Carnival Corporation, and continued to expand further into the cruise industry with the acquisitions of Cunard Line in 1998 and Costa Cruises in 2000.[10][11]

Carnival Corporation is the larger of the two holding companies and is incorporated in Panama with its primary stock listing on the Micky Arison, son of the company's founder, and his family own 47% of Carnival Corporation.

In 1988 Carnival Cruise Lines expanded into charter airlines with the purchase of Pacific Interstate Airlines, renamed Carnival Air Lines in 1989.[12] The company flew Airbus A300s, Boeing 727s and Boeing 737s on routes between San Juan, Orlando, Miami International Airport and Islip, and other charter services. In September 1997 the company was purchased by the Pan Am Corporation,[13] however its rapid expansion and economic troubles led to both Pan Am and Carnival Air Lines filing for bankruptcy and ceasing scheduled flights in February 1998.[14]

Brands and ships

Costa Cruises group

Prior to its acquisition by Carnival Corporation, Costa Cruises was one of the largest cruise ship operators in Europe. As part of Carnival it became one of the primary operating companies in the group, responsible for the group's operations in Europe. It has executive control of Costa Cruises in Italy, AIDA Cruises in Germany and Ibero Cruises in Spain. Control of AIDA Cruises was transferred to Costa following the merger of Carnival and P&O Princess Cruises, the company having previously been part of the P&O Princess portfolio. Ibero Cruises is a new cruise brand created by Carnival Corporation in 2007.

Brands and ships

Carnival plc

Carnival plc is the UK-listed holding company of the Carnival Group. It was formed as a result of the merger between Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises in 2003.[15] It was agreed that P&O Princess would remain as a separate company, with a predominantly British shareholder body and largely retaining the P&O Princess executive team. Subsequently, P&O Princess was simply re-listed as Carnival plc, creating a dual-listed company. Carnival plc is associated with Carnival UK operations, but also has responsibility for Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruises and Holland America Line, with these companies having offices at Carnival plc headquarters in Gainsford Street, London.


Carnival UK was formed as a result of the merger in 2002 between Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises. At the time P&O Princess was the largest cruise ship operator in the United Kingdom, owning the P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Ocean Village and AIDA Cruises brands. Formerly a constituent of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, the company originated in the early 19th century. P&O Steam Navigation Company was the oldest cruise ship operator in the world, a title which continues to be claimed by P&O Cruises.

The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company was founded in 1822 by Brodie McGhie Willcox, a London ship broker, and Arthur Anderson, a sailor from the Shetland Isles in Northern Scotland. It became one of the world's largest shipping and logistics companies and also began operating the world's first passenger liners. P&O expanded its passenger services in the post war era after 1945, most notably commissioning fifteen purpose-built passenger vessels, including SS Himalaya, SS Chusan, SS Arcadia (1954), SS Iberia (1954) and culminating in it last and largest, SS Canberra, in 1961. P&O continued to expand throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, expanding its passenger and cruise operations with the acquisitions of Princess Cruises and Sitmar Cruises in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1999 the company entered the German cruise market with the acquisition of a majority stake in AIDA Cruises, completing a buy-out of the company in 2000.[16][17]

On October 23, 2000 P&O demerged its cruise ship operations, to form P&O Princess Cruises plc.[18] The newly formed company immediately became the largest cruise ship operator in the United Kingdom and, in 2002, it announced the introduction of the Ocean Village brand, which commenced operations in May 2003.[16][19] By this time, the company had agreed to merge with Carnival Corporation and, as a result, P&O Princess Cruises plc was re-registered as Carnival plc, and its operations integrated with Carnival Corporation, taking control of the group's UK operations. Control of its North American-based Princess Cruises brand was transferred to Carnival Corporation, control of German-based AIDA Cruises was transferred to Costa Cruises, and Carnival UK took control of Southampton-based Cunard Line, which had been acquired by Carnival Corporation in 1998/99.[20][21]

On 3 April 2008 Micky Arison, the chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, stated that due to the low value of the US dollar, inflation and high shipbuilding costs, the company would not be ordering any new ships for their US-based brands (Carnival, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line) until the economic situation improved. Carnival Corporation has since ordered no fewer than five ships for the American market: three for Carnival and two for Princess.[22]

Carnival sold Windstar to Ambassadors International Cruise Group[23][24] and Swan Hellenic to Lord Sterling in 2007.[25]

In May 2010 Carnival ordered two cruise ships for Princess Cruises from Fincantieri,[26][27][28] and another identical one for P&O Cruises.[29] These ships are expected to have a tonnage of 141,000 GT with a capacity for 3,600 passengers, and will be the second-largest built for Carnival, RMS Queen Mary 2 being the largest. One is expected to enter service in spring 2013, one in spring 2014, and the P&O ship in 2015.[28]

Carnival UK

Carnival UK is the primary operating company of Carnival plc and one of the major operating companies within the Carnival Group. It consists mainly of the former P&O Princess brands and has executive control of P&O Cruises and Cunard Line. It controlled Ocean Village until it ceased trading in 2010.[30] It shares facilities and some departmental areas with the UK operations of Princess Cruises, Holland America Line & Yachts of Seabourn. The Managing Director and CEO of Carnival UK as of 2012 was David Dingle.[31] The company made its base in purpose-built corporate headquarters at Carnival House in Southampton, England in July 2009.[32] Carnival Corp & plc has other offices in the UK for other operating companies.

Carnival Australia

Carnival Australia is a branch of Carnival PLC, with primary control of the P&O Australia brand and responsibility for the operation of Carnival cruise ships in the Australia and South Pacific region. Ann Sherry is the Chief Executive Officer.[33]

Brands and ships

Notable ships

Carnival has various notable ships as follows:

  • Queen Mary 2 – The largest in a line of 'Cunard Queens', the prestigious transatlantic ocean liners (Cunard Line)
  • Carnival Destiny – The first cruise ship to be built over 100,000-GT and also the first cruise ship to exceed the largest ocean liner in size. (Carnival Cruise Lines)
  • Star Princess – Received media attention when a large fire ripped through berths in March 2006 (Princess Cruises)
  • MV Aurora – The last ship with an original design to be built for and enter the UK market.
  • Ventura and Azura – Based on the Grand Princess, the largest cruise ships ever built for the British market (P&O Cruises)
  • Carnival Magic – The line's 100th ship when it debuted in May 2011.
  • Oriana – The first new ship commissioned for P&O Cruises, also the fastest ship in the P&O fleet
  • Carnival Splendor – Suffered Engine Room Fire on 8 November 2010, which left it without power and drifting in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Mexico. Later towed to San Diego, CA.
  • Carnival Triumph – Suffered Engine Room Fire on 10 February 2013, which left it without power and drifting in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Mexico. Later towed to Mobile, AL.

Former ships

  • Queen Elizabeth 2 – The flagship of Cunard Line when Carnival acquired the line. She was sold in 2008 to Istithmar World.[34]
  • Rotterdam – The flagship of Holland America Line for 40 years, she was sold to Premier Line as the Rembrandt, now the Rotterdam as a hotel/museum in the city of Rotterdam.
  • Costa Concordia – The ship hit a rock off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy and sank on its side in shallow water in January 2012 (Costa Cruises) with 32 people either confirmed dead, or missing.

See also


External links

  • Carnival Corporation website
  • Yahoo! Carnival Corporation company profile

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