NEW YORK (AP) Marine mammals are among the first species to be added to a new shipboard fleet built by cruise line Carnival Corp. The Carnival Corporation, based in New York, said Friday that it had added about 400 species of marine mammals to the fleet, the most of any company.
A Carnival spokesman said the number included sharks and dolphins.
The cruise line said the new ships are being built for customers in the Americas and Europe and the Asian markets.
“The goal of the ships is to provide a safe and secure ship for our customers and to promote marine mammals conservation,” said Carnival Corp., based in St. John’s, New Brunswick.
The company said the whales, dolphins and sharks are now being used as a test model, while the seals and porpoises are being used for testing purposes.
Carnival said the ships will be used on the Caribbean coast, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean.
The ship, dubbed the Sea Lion, is due to start sailing in 2019.
Carnival says its Sea Lion is designed for recreational cruise ships and can carry about 2,500 passengers.
The ships will carry up to 200 people and a variety of life-saving equipment, including life jackets, life-size replicas of marine mammal skulls, life jackets for the crew and other life-support systems.
Carnival’s Sea Lion ships have a capacity of about 3,400 passengers.
A second ship, the Carnival Express, is being built to be used for cargo-handling vessels and will be the first ship to carry up for sale in the United States.
The Sea Lion and Express will carry about 3 of Carnival’s 7 million passengers a year.
The two ships will operate in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the company said they will also operate in coastal waters.
Carnival also announced a partnership with the Center for Whale Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to build a research vessel.
The vessel will be built in California, and it will have the ability to carry live and dead orcas.
Carnival is also buying another cruise ship, a Norwegian ship called the Sea-to-Land, for $2.3 billion.
The deal includes the purchase of the Sea Lions and Sea-To-Sea, and a fleet of three new ships.
Carnival announced that a new cargo ship, Sea Lion II, will be launched next year and will carry 1,500 people.
The new ship, which is a design by Cruise Lines and will operate at sea, will carry an unspecified number of whale carcasses, Carnival said.