Carnival Corporation & plc was formed in 2003, with the acquisition by Carnival Corporation of P&O Princess Cruises.
Carnival Corporation was founded as Carnival Cruise Line in 1972. The company grew steadily throughout the 1970s and 1980s, making an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 1987. The capital generated was used to finance acquisitions, and between 1989 and 1999, the company acquired Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, Westours, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Cunard Line. The name Carnival Corporation was adopted in 1993, to distinguish the parent company from its flagship cruise line subsidiary.
P&O Princess Cruises plc was formed in 2000, following the demerger of the cruise ship division of the P&O group. Originating as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in England in 1837, P&O operated the world's first commercial passenger ships, the predecessor of modern cruise ships. Restructuring of the P&O group in the 20th Century led to its cruise operations being rebranded as P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia, with the company acquiring Princess Cruises in 1974. Following the demerger in 2000, the company also acquired AIDA Cruises, as well as establishing the A'Rosa Cruises and Ocean Village brands.
Prior to Carnival Corporation's acquisition, P&O Princess Cruises plc had agreed to a merger with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The deal unraveled as Carnival Corporation initiated a hostile takeover with improved terms for British shareholders.
It was agreed that P&O Princess Cruises plc would remain as a separate company, listed on the London Stock Exchange and retaining its British shareholder body and management team. The company would simply be renamed Carnival plc, with the operations of the two companies merged into one entity. Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc, jointly own all the operating companies in the Carnival group.
Carnival sold Windstar Cruises to Ambassadors Group in February 2007 and Swan Hellenic to Lord Sterling in March 2007.
The Carnival group now comprises 10 cruise line brands operating a combined fleet of over 100 ships, totalling over 190,000 lower berths, and with new ships on order. A 10th brand, stylised as fathom, was announced in June 2015, and commenced operations in April 2016. Fathom operations will be discontinued in June 2017. In 2011 the combined brands of the Carnival group controlled a 49.2% share of the total worldwide cruise market. The following operating companies have full executive control of the Carnival brands in their portfolio.Carnival Cruise Line - headquarters in Miami, Florida, USA
fathom - headquarters in Miami, Florida, USA
P&O Cruises - headquarters in Southampton, UK
Cunard Line - headquarters in Southampton, UK
Holland America Line - headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA
Princess Cruises - headquarters in Santa Clarita, California, USA
Seabourn Cruise Line - headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA
P&O Cruises Australia - headquarters in Sydney, Australia
Costa Cruises - headquarters in Genoa, Italy
AIDA Cruises - headquarters in Rostock, Germany
AIDA Cruises originates from the state-owned German shipping conglomerate Deutsche Seereederei, established in Rostock, Germany in 1952. The company entered the passenger market in the 1960s, but after the unification of Germany in 1990, the company was privatised and its passenger ships acquired by Deutsche Seetouristik. In 1996, the company launched its first new cruise ship AIDA, but after failing to achieve a profit, the ship was sold to Norwegian Cruise Line, continuing operations under a charter agreement. In 1999, Deutsche Seetouristik was acquired by British shipping company P&O, with the AIDA being repurchased from NCL. P&O subsequently formed AIDA Cruises as a subsidiary brand, with two new ships ordered to form a fleet. AIDA was renamed AIDAcara, with AIDAvita and AIDAaura launched in 2002 and 2003 respectively. From 2000 to 2003, AIDA Cruises was a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc and since the formation of Carnival Corporation & plc in 2003, it has been under the executive control of Costa Cruises Group, with corporate headquarters in Genoa, Italy and operational headquarters in Rostock, Germany.
Carnival Cruise Line was founded in 1972 as a subsidiary of American International Travel Service (AITS), by Ted Arison and Meshulam Riklis. Due to mounting debts, Riklis sold his stake in the company to Arison for $1 in 1974. However through the acquisition of existing ships, the company continued to grow and, in 1980, Carnival ordered its first new commission, the Tropicale, which was completed in 1981/2. Three further ships were commissioned during the 1980s, the Holiday (1985), Jubilee (1986) and Celebration (1987). In 1987, Carnival completed an initial public offering of 20 percent of its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange, raising approximately $400m in capital. The capital raised was used to finance acquisitions, so in 1993 the business was restructured as a holding company, under the name Carnival Corporation, with Carnival Cruise Line becoming its principal subsidiary. Carnival continues to be the largest single brand within the Carnival group today, operating twenty five vessels.
Costa Cruises originates from a cargo shipping company founded by Giacomo Costa fu Andrea in Genoa, Italy in 1854. Better known as Costa Line or C Line by the 1920s, its first passenger carrier was the Maria C, a former U.S. Navy stores ship that was partly converted for passenger use and served various routes to North and South America from 1947 to 1953. The company's first dedicated passenger ship was the Anna C, a cargo vessel that was requisitioned for war time use by the Royal Navy and refitted as an accommodation ship before returning to merchant use. Costa purchased the ship in 1947 and it operated between Italy and South America from 1948, later converting to full-time cruising and serving with the company until 1971. From the late 1960s until the 1980s, Costa rapidly developed its passenger operations into what we now recognise as modern cruise ships. Subsequently in 1987, it consolidated its cruise ship operations into a new company, Costa Cruises, which at its peak, was the largest cruise ship operator in the world. The takeover of Costa Cruises by Carnival Corporation began in 1997, as a 50/50 deal between Carnival and the British tour operator Airtours. Carnival then began purchasing Airtours' shares in the company, becoming the sole shareholder in September 2000. Costa Cruises is now one of the largest brands within the Carnival Group, with 15 ships.
The second oldest brand in the Carnival group after P&O Cruises, Cunard Line originates from 1840 and celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2015. It was founded by Samuel Cunard, who was awarded the first trans-Atlantic mail contract in 1837 and established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam-Packet Company in 1840. After initially dominating the trans-Atlantic route, the need for new capital led to the company being re-organised as the Cunard Steamship Company Ltd in 1879. The early 1900s saw increased competition for speed, particularly from Germany, which led the British government to subsidise the building of the Mauretania and Lusitania, which both won the Blue Riband. Competition continued to increase however and by the early 1930s, Cunard was experiencing financial difficulties. To secure further government subsidy, it agreed to merge with its chief rival White Star Line, to form Cunard-White Star Line in 1934. Cunard later purchased the remaining White Star shares in 1947, reverting to the name Cunard Line in 1949. Cunard continued to operate independently until 1971, when it was acquired by the conglomerate Trafalgar House, which was in turn taken over by the Norwegian company Kværner in 1996. In 1998, Carnival Corporation purchased a controlling stake in Cunard, completing the acquisition in 1999 to become sole shareholder. Since that time, Cunard has been one of Carnival's most high-profile brands, with the continued popularity of the famous Queen Elizabeth 2 and the development of the world's largest trans-Atlantic ocean liner Queen Mary 2, which continues to be the flagship of the fleet. Following the merger of Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc in 2003, executive control of the Cunard brand was transferred to Carnival UK, with corporate and operational headquarters based in Southampton, England.Queen Elizabeth
Queen Mary 2
Stylised as fathom - Commenced operations in 2016. Operations will be discontinued in June 2017.Adonia
Holland America Line originated as Plate, Reuchlin & Company, founded in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1871. Initially struggling to survive, the company went public in 1873, renamed Nederlandsch Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij (NASM). The company grew quickly in the early years, acquiring several new ships, including the SS Rotterdam, which operated the company's first passenger cruise in 1895. The company also quickly became known by its shortened English name, Holland America Line, which was officially adopted in 1869. By the early 1900s, the company had separated its cargo and passenger operations, with its passenger ships being identifiable by names ending with dam, a tradition which continues with Holland America cruise ships today. The development of container shipping in the 1960s, forced the company to make a decision between investing in new cargo ships, or cruise ships. It ultimately sold its cargo operations, becoming exclusively a cruise ship company in 1973. Holland America continued to thrive well into the 1980s, consolidating its business with the acquisitions of Westours, Windstar Cruises and Home Lines. In 1989 however, it was itself the subject of an acquisition, when it was purchased in full by Carnival Corporation. Since the formation of Carnival Corporation and plc in 2003, Holland America Line has been one of the principal operating companies of the Carnival Group, with corporate and operational headquarters in Seattle.Pacific Dawn
A'Rosa Cruises - Established by P&O Princess in 2001, sold following the Carnival merger in 2003
Fiesta Marina Cruises - Established by Carnival Corp in 1993, liquidated in 1994. The sole ship was sold to the Epirotiki Line.
Ibero Cruises - Established by Carnival Corp in 2003, liquidated in 2014 with ships transferred to Costa Cruises and Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Ocean Village - Established by P&O Princess in 2003, liquidated in 2010 with ship transferred to P&O Cruises Australia
Swan Hellenic - P&O Princess subsidiary since 1983, liquidated in 2007 with ship transferred to Princess Cruises
Windstar Cruises - Carnival subsidiary since 1989, sold to Ambassadors International in 2007.
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.
Queen Elizabeth 2 – The flagship of Cunard Line when Carnival acquired the line. She was sold in 2008 to Istithmar World.
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 in the Costa Concordia disaster, killing 32 passengers and crew members, 1 salvage operator, and injuring 64 other people.
In early 2013, Carnival acquired a Gulfstream G650 (construction number 6021, built 2013) new from the manufacturer. The aircraft's registration, N305CC, was assigned on April 1, 2013. The aircraft is held in trust by and registered to Wells Fargo Bank Northwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. The N-number was previously assigned to a Bombardier Global Express (construction number 9027, built 1999) acquired in 2002, re-registered N304CC on February 13, 2013.