The two-ship order, announced yesterday, includes one vessel, costing dollars 295m ( pounds 203m), to complement the 77,000-ton Sun Princess (right), which is already being built by Fincantieri. The other liner will cost dollars 385m. At about 90,000 tons, it will be about one-and-a-half times the size of the QE2.
P&O said British shipyards did not have the resources and capacity to quote for orders of that size.
The ships will be delivered in 1997 to P&O's US-based subsidiary, Princess Cruises. The liners will have passenger capacities of 1,950 and 2,500 respectively.