The 75,100-gross ton, €325-million Color Magic, dubbed a “cruise ship with car deck” because of the high standard of facilities and services offered on board, is the second of four new vessels Color Line plans to introduce between 2004 and 2008. She will join...ms Color Fantasy, her near identical sister ship, on the Oslo-Kiel route on September 17 following an elaborate naming ceremony in the German port. Celebrity actress Veronica Ferres will serve as godmother and the Norwegian pop music group A-ha will perform on the quayside, making the inauguration of Color Magic the largest singular marketing event promoting Norway in Germany in 2007. As many as 200,000 spectators are anticipated to witness the event, which will also receive extensive media attention.
With the delivery of the 2,975-passenger Color Magic, Color Line is finally able to offer daily “mini cruise” departures in each direction serving mainly Norwegian and German source markets. Since the introduction of the 2,667-passenger Color Fantasy in December 2004, that ship alone has carried almost 1.5 million passengers. “The number of Norwegian passengers traveling on the Oslo-Kiel route has grown by 41 per cent and the number of German passengers by 44 per cent. With Color Magic we intend to further penetrate new market segments,” said Trond Kleivdal, CEO of Color Line.
“Color Line has come up with a two-armed strategy for the future, building not only cruise ships with car decks but also a new generation of highly efficient and revolutionary fast ferries,” Mr. Kleivdal continued. In addition to having delivered Color Magic and Color Fantasy, Aker Yards in Rauma is also building two high speed day ferries for Color Line. Developed in cooperation between the shipowner, the yard and Falkum Hansen Design, ms Color Superspeed I & II will inaugurate a new era in ferry travel between Norway and Denmark. Passage times will be significantly shorter than they are today (with traditional overnight cruise ferries), and the passenger and freight capacity will be substantially increased. The onboard experience on the Superspeed sisters will focus on dining and shopping rather than entertainment and pampering, cabins being provided only for truck drivers.
A cooperative effort
For Aker Yards the construction of Color Magic, newbuilding number 1355, represented some new challenges as she is the first vessel to be built jointly by the yards in Turku and Rauma. In fact, steel sections for Color Magic were constructed at Aker Yards in Wismar, Germany, while the hull assembly took place in Turku and the final outfitting was done in Rauma. Juha Heikinheimo, recently appointed President of the Cruise & Ferries division, said: “We had some concerns about not being able to finish Color Magic on time, but I’m proud to say we are handing over the ship today in excellent condition.” For the first time Aker Yards has been able to benefit fully from the synergies made possible by the 2004 merger of Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Aker Finnyards in a newbuilding project.
Color Superspeed I, was floated out of the building dock on August 1 this year and is currently being fitted out, scheduled for delivery in mid-December. Although the first keel sections of Color Superspeed II are already in place in the building dock in Rauma, additional steel sections are still being built in Poland. Color Superspeed II will be delivered in the spring of 2008, bringing Color Line’s ambitious newbuilding program to completion. Only time will tell if the company chooses to go ahead with its plans for a pure cruise ship, the designs for which have been done by Aker Yards.
FULL REVIEW OF THE COLOR MAGIC WILL BE PUBLLISHED IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF CRUISE BUSINESS REVIEW.
By Anders Johannessen