Donna, here's one of the reports about Carnival...
By Michael Baron CBS MarketWatch
Last Update: 2:16 PM ET Aug 28, 2000: NewsWatch
Monday, August 28, 2000
-- 8/28/2000 2:16:00 PM CCL buys rest of Costa
Carnival Corp. (ccl: news, chart) said earlier today that it will buy the remaining 50 percent stake in Genoa, Italy-based Costa Crociere from Airtours plc, a British-based travel supplier, for $525 million in cash. Costa Crociere operates seven ships. Carnival will maintain its 26 percent strategic interest in Airtours which was acquired in 1996. "Costa is the largest and most successful cruise operator in Europe and will serve as Carnival's primary platform for expanding our presence in this increasingly important market," said Micky Arison, Carnival chairman and CEO. Carnival shares are down 3/16 to 21 3/16.
I was on the Carnival Victory when this announcement came out. Mickey Arison and Bob Dickinson gave a press conference. They were every happy about this acwuisition, and so were the Costa people. It seems the Carnival people believe Europe is a very high potential market with less competition and price gouging. By the way, they are all very excitied about the Spirit class of vessels, too, of whicvh the Costa Atlantica is the first.
They like the fact that there are so many balcony cabins, and that the flow of the ship is a lot better because all the public rooms are moved to the lower decks. It is a nice ship, I will attest to that.
Yep, I saw a picture of the Carnival Spirit, and also the Costa Atlantica, and they are exactly identical, to the point that they both have the same waterslide. I saw pictures from the Port of Helsinki where they built both of them.