MIAMI (08/04/98) -- Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Italian shipyard Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A. for the construction  of two 102,000-ton cruise ships at a cost of approximately $450 million each for its Carnival Cruise Lines unit.

The two new vessels will have a basis-two capacity of 2,758 and are expected to enter service in the fall of 2002 and the summer of 2003.  They represent the fourth and fifth ships in Carnival’s highly successful “Destiny-class,”   which debuted with the launch of the Carnival Destiny, the world’s first 100,000-plus-ton cruise ship, in November 1996.  The other ships in the series, the 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory, are currently under construction at Fincantieri and expected to be delivered in July 1999 and August 2000, respectively.

Bob Dickinson, president of Carnival Cruise Lines, said the decision to add to the Destiny series was based on the tremendous guest response and financial success generated by the Carnival Destiny since its introduction 20 months ago.   “The Carnival Destiny is not only the most profitable vessel ever operated by Carnival Cruise Lines but continues to provide the highest rate of return of any of the 42 ships under the Carnival Corporation umbrella,” he said.

Dickinson said the Carnival Destiny has drawn accolades from both guests and travel agents for its variety of resort-style amenities, particularly the high percent of staterooms -- 36 percent -- that feature private balconies.  “Because it introduced a new era of cruising to the vacationing public, cruises aboard the Carnival Destiny continue to be in great demand.  We fully expect this popularity will extend to the launch of our other ‘Destiny-class’ vessels, as well,” he said.

The two new vessels will include all of the unique features found aboard the Carnival Destiny such as a three-deck-high show lounge, four swimming pools -- one with a 214-foot-long water slide -- myriad dining options, including two two-level main dining rooms and a two-deck-high casual eatery featuring  Italian and Asian specialties and a 24-hour pizzeria, along with a 15,000-square-foot health and fitness facility and a 9,000-square-foot casino.   For Fincantieri, the two new 102,000-ton ships represent the continuation of its longstanding relationship with Carnival.   In addition to the five “Destiny-class” vessels either in service or under contract, Fincantieri has three more vessels for Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line unit scheduled for delivery over the next two years, including two 63,000-ton vessels, Volendam and Zaandam in 1999, and an as-yet-unnamed 61,000-ton ship in 2000.   All told, Fincantieri has $2.6 billion in new ships on order for Carnival.  “We’ve enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Carnival over the years and are very pleased that they have demonstrated the confidence in our ability by continuing the Destiny series with two more of these two beautiful, state-of-the-art vessels,” said Fincantieri Chairman Corrado Antonini.

Carnival Corporation is comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, the world’s largest cruise line based on passengers carried, Holland America Line, Windstar Cruises, a majority interest in Cunard Line Limited, which operates the Cunard and Seabourn cruise brands, and equity interests in Costa Cruises and Airtours plc.   Combined, Carnival Corporation’s various brands operate 42 ships in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and other worldwide destinations.  Collectively, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line and Costa Cruises have 10 new ships slated for delivery over the next five years.