Carnival Corp. said that two older ships sailing for Costa Cruises will exit the fleet to join a new joint venture catering to Chinese cruisers.

The Costa Atlantica and the Costa Mediterranea will be sold to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd., the company said.

The 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019. The 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea will be transferred at a yet to be determined date.

Carnival Corp. is a minority investor in CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Ltd., which is controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Corp.

The joint venture partners said they finalized a plan to build at least two new ships for the new cruise line that would be delivered starting in 2023.

Also, Costa has previously announced plans to introduce two new cruise vessels specifically designed for the Chinese market -- the Costa Venezia in spring 2019 and a sister ship in fall 2020.

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