Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition cruise and coastal express passenger shipping company, has placed a firm order for two newbuildings that can serve its both trades with the Kleven shipyard in Norway. In the spring, Hurtigruten said it planned to build up to four such vessels, two of which now remain under option.
The vessels will be able to carry 530 passengers in 265 cabins, they will be 140 metres in length and have ice strengthened hulls. The first ship will be delivered in July 2018 and the second a year later, the company said in a statement.
A spokesman for Carnival Corporation & plc said the world’s largest cruise shipping group is pleased with the completion of a joint venture between China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and Fincantieri, but he declined comment on Csrnivsl group’s link to the reported five ships the joint venture has decided to build.
“We are pleased with the progress being made on multiple fronts including the completion of this joint venture agreement between CSSC and Fincantieri. The cruise market in China will someday become the largest cruise market in the world, and these joint venture initiatives will help propel that growth for years to come,” he told Cruise Business online.
In October 2015, Carnival Corporation & plc, China Investment Corporation (CIC) and CSSC signed a joint venture agreement to set up a cruise brand to cater for the Chinese source market.
The agreement was signed during a state visit to London of Xi Jinping, the Chinese president. The brand would be part of Carnival plc, the British holding company of the Carnival Corporation & plc group and its vessels could fly the British flag, it was said at the time.
A joint venture ship owning company 60% controlled by the China State Shipbuilding Company (CSSC) and 40% by Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, will build five 133,500 gross ton cruise ships, the first of which is due to enter service in 2021, China Daily reports on its English language website.
“State-owned China State Shipbuilding Corp and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiana SpA will establish a joint venture in Hong Kong. The joint venture will spend 25 billion yuan ($3.74 billion) building five luxury cruise liners,” the report said.
“The money will come from an industrial development fund for cruise liners from five Chinese banks, including Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank, according to CSSC,” China Daily continued.
Under the framework, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co (SWS), a subsidiary of CSSC, will be responsible for building the liners. Chen Gang, vice-president of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, said each of these ships displaces 133,500 tons and their length will exceed 300 meters. Each ship will cost around 5 billion yuan to build.
The Shanghai shipyard has already established a specialized department to start design work and they are scheduled to be built in 2017. "The cruise liners built in China will highlight Chinese elements, with the guest rooms decorated in the style of either a traditional Beijing courtyard or an old-fashioned Shanghai residential room," said Chen.
Dong Liwan, a shipping industry professor at Shanghai Maritime University, said cruise liners are the only high-tech ship products that China has yet to master. European shipyards, including Italy's Fincantieri, Germany's Meyer Werft, and STX France SA, account for 90 percent of total global orders. "To date, Asian shipbuilders including Japan and South Korea are incapable of either designing or building cruise ships independently," said Dong. A cruise liner is the result of the combination of many technologies. Up to 75% of the value of a cruise liner is handled by subcontractors, China Daily said.
The news came only four days after CSSC and Fincantieri unveiled the formation of a joint venture aimed at developing and supporting the growth of the Chinese cruise industry.
The today’s agreement, which follows one CSSC and Carnival Corporation &plc signed in November 2014, which provides that the joint venture will design and sell cruise ships exclusively intended and specifically customized for the Chinese and Asian market.
“These vessels will be built at one of CSSC’s shipyards, the SWS facility, on the basis of a technological platform licensed to the joint venture and to the SWS shipyard by Fincantieri, which will therefore perform the activities within its competence through the joint venture,” Fincantieri said on 4 July.
During today’s staff meetings in Germany, Genting Hong Kong announced that the three shipyards in the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern bought this April will be named as MV WERFTEN, be managed in Wismar and will focus on building large new cruise ships. Lloyd Werft located in Bremerhaven and bought last September will focus on its prior business of repairs, conversion and building of megayachts.
“To make MV WERFTEN one of the world’s most modern and efficient cruise shipyards, we will invest 100 million euros in a thin plate laser welding line, a cabin module factory, a new covered section block building hall, the modernization of manufacturing control systems and new executive and employee offices and facilities,” says Tan Sri KT Lim, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Genting Group.
“We are also pleased to announce Jarmo Laakso as the Managing Director of MV WERFTEN. Laakso has more than 35 years’ experience in building passenger ships, including the latest generation of mega cruise ships, such as the Quantum of the Seas. Laakso has a unique yard and owner perspective as he has worked for Meyer Werft from 1998 to 2004 and for Royal Caribbean International from 2005 to 2015,” he added.
“We highly appreciate the commitment of Genting Hong Kong. This is a strong signal and a clear statement of Genting on the shipbuilding industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – and in particular on the shipyards Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund," says Harry Glawe, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern‘s Economics Minister.
MV WERFTEN will deliver the first four luxury Crystal River ships in 2017, the first of a series of 20,000 gross ton Crystal Endeavor Class polar expedition yachts in 2018 and the fi rst of a series of 201,000 gross ton Star Cruises Global Class cruise ships by 2020. The planned annual output of MV WERFTEN will be stepped up in future years to eventually build two Neo-Panamax cruise ships of over 200,000 gross ton each and one Panamax cruise vessel a year. MV WERFTEN has docks, fabrication halls and painting shops which are all covered and, as a result, is able to produce cruise ships of the highest quality and workmanship, valued at more than 2.5 billion euro.
“We will build on the strength of the 1,400 employees of MV WERFTEN,” says Managing Director Jarmo Laakso. “We have hired and are still hiring more people with cruise shipbuilding experience who, with the current workforce, will make MV WERFTEN one of the most efficient and innovative cruise shipbuilders in Europe.” Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven will continue to be led by Managing Director Rüdiger Pallentin, Dirk Petersjohann and Carsten Haake and focus on its previous business repair and conversion and will, with its recently established Lloyd Werft Design Center, strengthen its ability to build megayachts.
The 11th China Cruise Shipping Conference and International Cruise Expo (CCS11), hosted by National Tourism Administration, Tianjin Municipal Government and China Communication and Transportation Association, undertaken by CCIYA, will be held from 23 to 25 September in Tianjin Meijiang Convention & Exhibition Centre II and Crowne Plaza Tianjin Meijiang.
The theme of CCS11 will be Development and Cultivation of Asian Cruise Tourism Destinations.
Representatives from Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (RCCL), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), MSC Cruises and Star Cruises will attend CCS11.
Those to attend include Arnold W. Donald, CEO and President and Alan Buckelew, COO of Carnival Corporation & plc, Adam M. Goldstein, President and COO of RCCL and Frank del Rio, President and CEO of NCLH.
Costa Asia celebrated in Shanghai its 10th anniversary on July 1 by inviting industry partners and staff representatives to witness Costa Asia become the first international cruise company to reach the 10th anniversary milestone in China. The 2,000,000th passenger also attended the celebration as the guest of honor and was awarded with a free ticket for a Costa Cruises vacation.
Since its maiden China voyage in July 2006, Costa Asia has achieved a number of industry firsts. It was the first large international cruise company authorized to operate and deploy home ports in China. Over the past decade, Costa Asia has maintained customer-first principles and focused on innovation and excellence to bring Chinese passengers the most creative and high-quality cruise products, all with the flavor of “Italy at Sea”.
So far, Costa Asia has served 2 million passengers in the China and Asia markets. According to China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association statistics, in 2015, China had over 1.1 million cruise visitors, and Costa Asia was recognized with the most voyages and passengers, consolidating its leading position in China with a 38.31 percent market share.
From its earlier deployment of Costa Allegra (2006), Costa Classica (2009) and Costa Romantica (2010), to the more recent Costa Victoria “The Ship of Fashion” (2012), Costa Atlantica “The Ship of Art” (2013), Costa Serena “Rome at Sea” (2015) and Costa Fortuna “Museum at Sea” in April 2016, Costa Asia brings its “Italy at Sea” flavor to Chinese passengers, offering them an authentic European cruising experience.
“Over the past decade, we have invested in the China cruise market to bring passengers the flavor of ‘Italy at Sea’. We wish to express our gratitude to local communities for their consistent support.” said Buhdy Bok, Costa Asia President. “We would also like to thank all of our staff for their dedication and the invaluable contributions they have made to the company and its passengers,” Bok concluded.
Costa Asia’s fleet will welcome the arrival of Costa neoRomantica in 2017 and add two 4,200 berth new-builds specifically designed for the China market, coming in 2019 and 2020. In addition, AIDA Cruises, a leading German cruise brand, will also join Costa Asia in 2017 by stationing a ship in China year-round for the first time, home-ported in Shanghai for the China market.
Costa Asia has shown its commitment to the China cruise industry by increasing the number of Chinese onboard staff and collaborating with local institutes to attract and train local talent for the best tailor-made cruising experience for Chinese passengers. Costa Asia has so far employed a total of 2,700 Chinese staff aboard its fleet. Based on the successes the group has achieved, the cruise liner plans to increase the number of Chinese staff aboard to 50 percent by 2020 and create more career opportunities for the China cruise industry.