STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, the South Korean shipbuilder that has experienced financial problems for a long time, has filed for receivership in Seoul, media reports say.
The company owns 67% of the shares in STX France, the cruise ship builder. The French government owns the rest. STX France has a large orderbook of cruise ships from MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises, Limited (RCCL).
In view of Cruise Business Online, the future of the French cruise ship builder should be secure despite the uncertain prospects that face its principal shareholder. There are at least two reasons for this.
The first one is that STX France has a healthy orderbook. By contrast, many of the businesses STX Offshore & Shipbuilding is engaged elsewhere have experienced a sharp fall in orders since the outbreak of the financial crisis.
Secondly, the STX France yard in St Nazaire is the only major shipbuilding facility left in the country that is capable of building large naval ships. The French government maintains a substantial navy that currently has e.g. one aircraft carrier and three helicopter carrier/ amphibious assault ships.
The government is currently facing violent opposition to planned new labour market laws and any concern around the future of STX France would only add to its problems.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with French Shipbuilder STX France to build a fifth Oasis-class ship for delivery in the Spring of 2021, and two additional Edge-class ships scheduled for delivery in the Fall of each of 2021 and 2022.
"The response to the arrival of Harmony of the Seas is staggering, eliciting excitement from eager cruisers from markets on both sides of the Atlantic," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "And Edge-class is one of the most highly anticipated new projects, following the high bar of Modern Luxury design set by its predecessor, the Solstice-class."
"The Oasis-class ships have delivered beyond expectations each time," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "Harmony of the Seas' warm reception is evidence that growing this class of ship will continue to drive exceptional performance for the brand."
"Although our first Edge-class vessel is still over two years away from delivery, there has been a tremendous amount of interest around the new standard of style Edge-class will introduce," said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. "Solstice-class ushered in a new era of design for modern cruise ships, and Edge-class will not disappoint as the new generation of high style and design."
"We are extremely pleased with the recent success of Harmony of the Seas and take great pride in our partnership with Royal Caribbean," said Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of STX France. "It is especially exciting to collaborate on such diverse projects from Oasis to Edge, both marvels in their own space."
This order is contingent upon the completion of customary conditions, including documentation and financing. Final contracts, which include the definitive payment schedules, are expected to be completed within the quarter. Capacity increases for 2016 through 2020 remain unchanged.
The most luxurious ship ever built, Seven Seas Explorer, will enter service in royal fashion with Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco having kindly accepted to serve as the ship’s godmother at a gala christening event in Monte Carlo on the evening of July 13, 2016.
“It’s fitting to have the world’s most luxurious ship, Seven Seas Explorer, christened in one of the most glamorous cities in the world by H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco, who is the definition of elegance, grace and passion,” said Jason Montague, president and COO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “Her Highness’ stature, Her career as a world class athlete and the charitable endeavors She pursues through the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation are inspiring. We are extremely proud and humbled that She agreed to serve as godmother for Seven Seas Explorer.”
Joining H.S.H. Princess Charlene at the christening ceremony for Seven Seas Explorer is world renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who will take the stage for a spectacular 40-minute performance during the event. Bocelli’s beautiful serenade will be a fitting send-off for a ship that sets a new benchmark for luxury.
“It’s such an honor to have Andrea Bocelli – a musical maestro with such an iconic and endearing voice – perform at the christening ceremony,” shared Montague. “We are making the christening ceremony for Seven Seas Explorer one for the ages, one that is truly befitting of the most luxurious ship ever built."
Emre Sayın has become the new CEO of Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator that provides services to over five million cruise passengers a year.
A new CEO has been appointed to steer Global Ports Holding, the world’s largest cruise port operator. Having previously conducted high-level managing positions at several International companies, Emre Sayın has now taken the helm at Global Ports Holding,
Global Ports Holding, an affiliate of Global Investment Holdings, carries out operations in 10 ports in seven countries extending through the Mediterranean and to Asia Pacific, Adriatic and the Aegean Sea. Being the leader of the industry, Global Ports Holding is expected to see serious steps towards further growth under Emre Sayın’s leadership.
Expressing his excitement at becoming a member of Global Ports’ international team Emre Sayın said, "I strongly believe that although being the world leader we are only at the beginning of Global Ports Holding’s growth story. There are numerous tools to use to achieve better service quality and to add value to the cruise and transportation sectors while enhancing passengers’ experiences at the ports. My experience in “marketing”, “service development” and “experience management” together with our spread-out international team’s devotion will make a serious difference to reach our goal. Tens of ports can learn from each other and share their best practices. This synergy and knowledge sharing will not only result in an increase in service quality but it will also lead to an increase in tourist arrivals in countries where we are active, and ensure that tourists will leave these countries happier.”
After graduating from the Department of Industrial Engineering, Boğaziçi University, Emre Sayın completed his postgraduate degree in Systems Engineering at Rutgers and Princeton Universities. He started his carrier as Management Expert at Merrill Lynch, Princeton in 1992. In 1993 he joined Unilever and worked at high level positions for seven years at various departments including Marketing and Management of chain stores. Following Unilever he moved to Microsoft where he became Marketing Deputy General Manager, for the following three years. He continued his career as the General Manager of Kodak until 2005. From 2005 to 2007, he worked as Marketing Deputy Director at Evyap.
Emre Sayın worked at high-level positions such as Deputy Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Departments and Deputy General Director of Corporate Services in Turkcell reporting directly to the CEO, for seven years. In the last three years, he worked as Deputy General Director of Business Development at Vimpelcom, Amsterdam, and Senior Advisor at Verizon, New York.
Genting Hong Kong last week placed an order for a total of10 newbuildings for its various cruise brands at the Lloyd Werft Group shipyards in Germany that it owns.
The €3.5 billion deal is the latest in a series of large scale ship orders that have propelled the numbers of vessels on order and their combined capacity to an all time high.
We think that the cruise industry is arriving at a watershed. Either the demand growth will have to accelerate so that the market can absorb all the new supply, the huge majority of which involves increasingly large contemporary market ships, or a crisis unforeseen in the sector will unfold.
The industry is placing great expectations that continue, rapid demand growth in China will continue and that this market will employ a large part of the new tonnage on order. It may well do so.
Development of the demand for any product tends to follow an S-shaped curve. At first, a new product meets little demand, which comes from primary consumers keen try new things, and costly marketing efforts mean that it does not generate profits.
After a while, when awareness of new the product increases and sales volumes pick up also among the less adventurous, the demand for it rapidly accelerates. At some point, this will peter out and the product will either wither away or restart the cycle after a revamp.
The Chinese cruise market is at the moment experiencing the stage of rapid acceleration in demand. The question is at what point of that stage it is.
Should the demand growth fall short of the expectations of the lines that have ordered new tonnage, the entire industry could run into unprecedented problems.
Cruise lines now order contemporary market ships of about 200,000 gross tons. Only a few years ago, the figure was about 160,000 gross tons. The ships being ordered now have capacity of 5,000 passengers or more. Few ships built before the year 2000 could take 3,000 passengers.
If it becomes necessary to start reducing capacity by selling for scrap older vessels, two or three of them will have to go to equal the capacity of a single newbuilding entering service.
In container and dry bulk shipping, expectations that Chinese manufacturing growth would remain at very high levels resulted in a wave of newbuilding orders. Large dry bulk carriers known as Capesize cost more than $100,000 per day to charter before the outbreak of the financial crisis. Earlier this year you could have one for about $500 per day.
The cruise industry calls itself supply driven. Although yield management and marketing measures can keep ships full, they do not guarantee returns on invested capital.
We think that the cruise industry is either a) on the threshold of an unprecedented period of growth or b) heading towards an unprecedented oversupply of tonnage.
The longer the good times roll in any industry, the more convinced industry executives tend to become that this is what they will do in the future as well and the greater risks they are prepared to take as a result.
Odo Maritime Research, in cooperation with Cruise Business Review, will publish Global Ocean Cruise Market Analysis & Forecast 2016 in June.
This will be the second issue of the bi-annual report, which will study and analyse the recent development of the cruise industry in terms of fleet growth deployment of tonnage, various aspects of the newbuilding sector and the financial performance of the industry.
The pdf format report will comprise about 120 pages and feature a large number of graphs, charts and other visual forms of presentation of information, which makes it easier for readers to form a comprehensive picture of the industry than if lots of text had been used.