Carnival Corporation & PLC
, a British-American
corporation, is the world's largest cruise
operator, comprising 11 cruise brands, including Carnival Cruise Lines
, Princess Cruises
, Holland America Line
and Seabourn Cruise Line
in North America
; P&O Cruises
, Cunard Line
and Ocean Village
in the United Kingdom
; AIDA Cruises
; Costa Cruises
and P&O Cruises Australia
. Combined, it operates a fleet of 88 ships, totaling more than 160,000 berths
with a further 18 ships to be delivered by 2012.
Carnival Corporation & PLC is a dual listed company (see that article for an explanation of this fairly unusual corporate structure), with headquarters in Miami, USA and London, UK. Carnival Corporation and Carnival PLC are separate listed companies and have different shareholder bodies, but they jointly own all the operating companies in the group. Carnival Corporation owns the majority stake.
Carnival Corporation was initially formed in 1972 under the name Carnival Cruise Lines
by the late cruise industry pioneer Ted Arison
. After achieving its position as one of the world's most popular cruise lines, it made an initial public offering of 20% of its common stock
in 1987. This provided an influx of capital that allowed the company to begin its expansion through acquisition. In 1989 its first acquisition was made with the premium operator Holland America Line
(this included Windstar Cruises and Holland America Tours) and its second in 1992, of the operator Seabourn Cruise Line
. Following this acquisition in 1993, the company changed its name to Carnival Corporation and continued its expansion further into virtually every market segment of the cruise industry with the acquisitions of Cunard Line
in 1998 and Costa Cruises
Carnival Corporation is the larger of the two holding companies and is incorporated in Panama with its primary stock listing on the New York Stock Exchange (). Prior to 17 April 2003 it was a separate company and the market leader in the United States cruise market. CEO Micky Arison, son of the company's founder and his family own 47% of Carnival Corporation.
In 1988, Carnival Cruise Lines expanded into the world of charter airlines, with the purchase of Pacific Interstate Airlines, which was subsequently renamed Carnival Air Lines in 1989. The company flew Airbus A300's, Boeing 727's and Boeing 737's on routes between San Juan, Orlando, Miami International Airport and Islip, along with other charter services. In September 1997 the company was purchased by the Pan Am Corporation, however its rapid expansion and economic troubles led to both Pan Am and Carnival Airlines filing for bankruptcy and ceased scheduled flights in February 1998.
Carnival PLC was formed in October 2000 under the name P&O Princess Cruises PLC
by the demerger of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company's
cruise business. P&O Princess' cruise business has had over 150 years of maritime history beginning in the United Kingdom in the 1840s. From established positions in the United Kingdom
it improved its position in North America
with the acquisitions of Princess Cruises
and Sitmar Cruises
in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1999 P&O Princess entered the German market with the acquisition of a majority stake in AIDA Cruises and bought it out-right in 2000 by acquiring the remaining minority stakes. In 2002, the company announced the introduction of a new cruise brand in the United Kingdom with Ocean Village which commenced operations in May 2003. This was after the merger of Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises PLC on 17 April 2003 that created one of the world's largest leisure travel companies. At the same time, P&O Princess ceased to exist, favoring the name Carnival PLC. Its stock is currently traded on the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange as the second holding of the dual listed company.
Carnival sold Windstar to Ambassadors International Cruise Group and Swan Hellenic to Lord Sterling in 2007.
Carnival Corporation & PLC have various notable ships as follows: