(10:40 a.m. EDT) -- Luxury cruise line Silversea has confirmed the order of three new ships -- two forming part of the line's brand-new Evolution Class, while the third is destined to become an expedition ship that will sail the Galapagos Islands.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Silversea Cruises, which merged in summer 2018, have signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build the two Evolution Class ships, with the first new ship slated for delivery in 2022.
Silversea has also agreed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct its new 100-passenger expedition ship -- Silver Origin.
In a statement released today, RCCL revealed that Silver Origin will operate the same Galapagos Islands itinerary that is currently offered by Silver Galapagos, with the new ship expected for delivery in March 2020. Silver Galapagos will then leave the Silversea fleet.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman, said: "We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft on the Silver Evolution series and De Hoop for Silver Origin.
"With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galapagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel."
Chairman and CEO of RCCL, Richard D. Fain, added: "We are excited to get to work helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions.
"There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travelers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them."
The agreements in place with the shipyards are "subject to certain contingencies, which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019," according to the statement.
Cruise Critic revealed in June 2018 that RCCL had finalized a $1 billion move to purchase a majority 66.7 percent share in Silversea Cruises.
The move saw RCCL tap into the luxury and expedition cruise markets, while adding to its existing portfolio of lines, which include Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
Silversea later released details of Project Invictus -- an ambitious fleetwide program covering everything from product upgrades to ship-wide refurbishments, with Silver Whisper next to undergo a refurbishment in December 2018.
No further details on the new-build ships have been revealed yet.
-- By Kerry Spencer, U.K. Editor