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Carnival buying 2 giant cruise ships for its Princess fleet

Cruise operator Carnival Corp. has agreed to acquire two ships for its Princess Cruises Brand.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri will build two 3,600-passenger cruise ships, scheduled to enter service in the spring of 2013 and the spring of 2014.

At 139,000 tons each, the ships will be the largest in the Princess Cruises fleet.

The new ships will have an all-in cost of 155,000 euros ($212,195) per lower berth.

Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Conder said in a note to investors the news isn’t a surprise since management has said it wanted to order new Princess ships for 2013 and 2014.

“The timing of the announcement also appears favorable given recent weakness in the euro,” he said. “Price per berth appears favorable versus recently ordered Carnival ship ($200,000 per berth) set to be delivered in 2012.”

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