Carnival Corp is incorporated in Panama in 1972 and Carnival plc is incorporated in England and Wales in 2000. Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc operate a dual listed company ('DLC'), whereby the businesses of Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc are combined through a number of contracts and through provisions in Carnival Corporation's Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and Carnival plc's Articles of Association. The Company is a global cruise company and one of the vacation companies in the world. The Company operates 100 cruise ships within a portfolio of ten leading cruise brands that sell cruise products and services in all the world's major vacation markets. They are also a provider of vacations to all major cruise destinations throughout the world. The Company competes with land-based vacation alternatives throughout the world, including hotels, resorts (including all-inclusive resorts), theme parks, organized tours, casinos and vacation ownership properties. Its main cruise competitors are RCCL, Norwegian Cruise Line and MSC Cruises. RCCL owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France and Pullmantur. RCCL and TUI AG, the leading German tour operator, jointly own TUI Cruises, a German cruise competitor. The Company's ships are regulated by various international, national, state and local laws, regulations, treaties and other legal requirements that govern health, environmental, safety and security matters in relation to our guests, crew and ships. The ships are registered, or flagged, in The Bahamas, Bermuda, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Panama, Portugal and the UK, which are also referred to as Flag States.