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Meyer Werft cuts steel for the first LNG-powered cruise ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The steel cutting of the vessel with yard number S.696 at Meyer Werft in Papenburg marks the start of construction for the first LNG cruise liner for AIDA Cruises.

Felix Eichhorn, President of AIDA Cruises, pressed the start button of the computer-controlled cutting machine, thereby commencing work on the first steel plate for the next generation of AIDA cruise ships. The first ship in this new class will be delivered at the end of 2018. With this new project, AIDA is continuing its long-standing partnership with Meyer Werft. From 2007 to 2013, the Papenburg shipyard produced seven Diva class cruise liners that operate successfully today in the market for AIDA cruises.

"AIDA will be giving the German holiday market a completely new impetus with the new Helios Class," says AIDA President Felix Eichhorn. For the first time, these new ships will be powered by LNG engines made by Caterpillar/MaK which fulfill the strictest environmental regulations. Energy efficiency was the key focus of the entire engineering work. The planning and design activities gave absolute priority to heat recovery, innovative electric motors, LED lighting, ship automation geared to energy efficiency, optimized underwater paintwork to reduce resistance, weight-optimized material selection and many other topics.

"We are very pleased that we can break completely new technological ground with AIDA in this way. AIDA and Carnival now lead the way for establishing LNG as the fuel of the future," says Tim Meyer, CEO at Meyer Werft.

The new ships for AIDA Cruises are also equipped with features tailor-made for the destination and for a first-class cruise experience. The ships will be setting new standards, not only in terms of their gross tonnage of 183,900 and space for 2,500 cabins but also in terms of design and environmental compatibility.

Thomas Weigend appointed Managing Director of Meyer Werft

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: More News

Thomas Weigend has appointed as the new Managing Director of Meyer Werft to succeed Lambert Kruse, who will step down due to health reasons, the company said in a statement.

At present, Weigend is responsible for the sales and development activities (Sales & Design) of shipyards in Papenburg, Rostock and Turku as a member of the management board. He joined the company in 1999.

In the future, Kruse will develop the activities of the affiliated enterprises of the Meyer Werft group

Princess announces fourth ship to debut Medallion Class

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Princess Cruises announced last week that Island Princess will be the fourth cruise ship to feature the Ocean Medallion, debuting May 16, 2018 for the Alaska season. The wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the One Cruise Experience Access Network (O·C·E·A·N), enables a new level of personalization and delivers an enhanced guest experience not previously available in the global vacation industry.

Unveiled by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald during his opening keynote last month at CES 2017, Princess Cruises is the first Carnival Corporation brand to debut this groundbreaking innovation. The Ocean Medallion is the only accessory needed to elevate the guest experience on cruises by offering unparalleled customer service.

Island Princess joins three other cruise ships scheduled to debut Medallion Class Ocean Vacations – Regal Princess on November 13, 2017, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018, and Island Princess starting on May 16, 2018. The Medallion Class Alaska cruise will set sail on the top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers seven-day itinerary between Vancouver and Anchorage (Whittier), with a trip to the state’s best glacial waters including Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“As the leading cruise line in Alaska, it’s fitting that our fourth ship to feature Medallion Class Ocean Vacations is Island Princess,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Sailing on our most popular Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary, our guests will enjoy the best Alaska has to offer and enjoy an elevated cruise vacation experience – connecting each other and the extraordinary people and culture of the ‘Great Land’ in a more memorable way.”

Medallion Class makes cruising more personal, immersive, simple and seamless than previously considered possible. At the heart of this personalized experience is the Ocean Medallion, which enables endless vacation possibilities. The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate – and can be worn as a pendant, on a wristband, in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalized experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action. The pre-cruise engagement will allow guests to provide preferences that detail their wants, needs and desires so that their onboard experience can be personalized.

Pairing with the Ocean Medallion is the Ocean Compass – a digital concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs, via guests’ own smart devices, or through a crew member. For example, guests can find their way to venues around the ship; make reservations at the Lotus Spa, specialty dining restaurants and shore excursions; arrange celebrations; view photographs; learn about the destinations they will visit and activities at each port of call and more. The Ocean Compass will invite guests to experiences based on their individual needs, wants and desires.

Stena Line’s four new vessels planned for Belfast routes

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

Last year Stena announced a newbuild contract of four RoPax vessels with a planned delivery schedule during 2019 and 2020. The contract also contains an option for another four vessels to be ordered. The four vessels are being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate the vessels on the Irish Sea, specifically on Stena Line’s routes to and from its expanding Belfast hub.

“The routes to and from Belfast are strategically very important to Stena Line and during the last number of years we have made significant investments in ports and vessels to improve and develop our capacity offering a frequent high quality service for our customers to and from Belfast. Looking ahead, we intend to continue our ambitious development plan for our business in the region and the new vessels are a part of this strategic plan. During the last few years we have seen a steady growth in freight and passenger volumes and we believe this will continue. Last year was a record year for us when we for the first time carried over 500,000 freight units through Belfast Port. These new vessels will be the largest ferries ever to operate between Belfast and Great Britain," said Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson.

Joe O’Neil, Commercial Director, Belfast Harbour commented: “We are delighted that Stena Line is planning for Belfast as the location for its next generation of RoPax vessels in what is a significant investment in and enhancement of Northern Ireland’s premier freight and tourism gateway. Belfast Harbour has worked in close partnership with Stena Line over the last two decades to help it expand its Belfast routes into a flourishing hub and this very welcome investment news comes on the back of a record year for Stena Line’s freight business in Belfast Harbour. We look forward to welcoming the new vessels and the associated benefits they will bring to Belfast Harbour and the economy of Northern Ireland.”

The new vessels are being constructed in line with Stena Line’s strategic focus on sustainability.

“The new RoPax vessels will be among the most fuel efficient in the world with approximately 25% lower CO2 emissions per cargo unit than current RoPax tonnage. Our aim is to lead the development of sustainability within the shipping industry and set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness. The vessels will run on traditional fuel, but are designed to the class notation “gas ready” and are also prepared for scrubbers as well as catalytic converters, giving us flexibility for the future," says Niclas Mårtensson.

Keel laying for Viking Spirit

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: More News

The keel laying ceremony for Viking Spirit, the fifth of six cruise ships Viking Ocean Cruises has ordered from Fincantieri, took place on February 16 at the shipyard in Ancona.

The first building block of the ship, about 11 meters long, 28.8 wide and weighing about 280 tons, is part of the central section of Viking Spirit, due to delivery in 2018.

Viking Spirit, as its sister ships, will be placed in the small cruise ship segment. In fact, with a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons, it will have 473 cabins with accommodation for 946 passengers, with a total capacity of over 1,400 people, including the crew.

The Viking Ocean Cruises units are all built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port”. Furthermore, they feature the most advanced technologies for energy saving and for meeting the strictest environmental regulations with energy-efficient engines and an exhaust gas cleaning system.
The first of the series, Viking Star, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in March 2015.

Viking Sea and Viking Sky, took the sea from the shipyard in Ancona respectively in March 2016 and January 2017. Viking Sun, launched in December 2016 in the same shipyard, will enter into service in autumn 2017, while Viking Spirit, whose dry dock works started on February 16, and the sixth and last unit of the series, will instead be delivered respectively in 2018 and 2019.

Fincantieri has built 76 cruise ships from 1990 to today, while other 31 are currently being designed or built in the Group’s yards.

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