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CMV acquires Pacific Pearl for British market

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Alan Lam reporting

Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced that the Pacific Pearl, the ship currently operated by P&O Cruises Australia, will join its fleet to commence operations from 9 June 2017 under the new name Columbus.

The 1,400-pax ship will be dedicated to the British cruise market, homeporting year round in London Tilbury, offering a traditional scenic British cruise experience.

Columbus, with 775 cabins, is the line’s fifth vessel and will become CMV’s new flagship. The company intends to target the adult only market for this ship, but in the 2017 summer season she will operate two sailing for all age groups.

“The successful introduction of Magellan in 2015,” said Christian Verhounig, CEO and Chairman of CMV, “has encouraged our group to accelerate its mid-term growth plans and the addition of Columbus to the fleet in 2017 is another important milestone in achieving our longer term growth objectives.”

This addition will increase CMV’s overall capacity to 125,000 in 2017.

“We are really pleased to welcome this fine ship to our fleet,” said Chris Coates, commercial director, “which we believe will be very well suited to our core British market who appreciate and value the many benefits of cruising on smaller to mid-sized more traditional vessels of this type. The introduction of Columbus, and her past association and popularity with the British cruise market spanning 13 years, will increase 2017 UK bed night capacity by 25% to 95,000 passengers.”

CMV’s 2017 summer itineraries will be on sale from 31 March 2016, following the Easter holidays. A special 2017 launch edition preview brochure will be released on 7April 2016.

Disney plans to order two 135,000 gross ton newbuildings at Meyer

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The Walt Disney Company said it plans to build two 135,000 gross to cruise ships at Meyer Werft in Germany.

The company has entered into a memorandum of agreement with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The schedule calls for the new ships to be completed in 2021 and 2023, the company said in a statement.

“While design plans, ship names and itineraries are still in development, the Walt Disney Imagineering team is already dreaming up exciting new innovations that will be uniquely fun and distinctly Disney,” said Jonathan Frontado, Public Relations Manager, Disney Cruise Line, in his blog.

“Each new ship will be approximately 135,000 gross tons – slightly larger than the newest Disney Cruise Line ships, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy – and each is currently planned to include about 1,250 guest staterooms,” he continued.

Fincantieri teams up with Huarun Dadong Dockyard in ship repairs

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups, and Huarun Dadong Dockyard (HRDD), one of the largest Chinese shipyards specialized in ship repair and refitting activities, have signed in Shanghai an exclusive cooperation agreement in the field of ship repair and conversions aimed at serving the cruise ships based in China.

The understanding includes the development of technical skills, project management, and logistics procedures. In particular, Fincantieri, through its dedicated Ship Repair and Conversion business unit, will provide, as a worldwide reference operator of the cruise sector, its technical expertise, which, combined with the first class shipyard facilities of HRDD, will offer fundamental support to the emerging Chinese cruise sector and to the main foreign cruise companies which will operate on the local market. HRDD, in fact, is a leading group with modern facilities located at a very strategic geographical position near the new Cruise Terminal of Shanghai. The shipyard which avails of five drydocks, has a rich experience on a broad range of ship types and skilled resources which make it particularly suitable also for the cruise ship sector.

Fincantieri had started an internationalization and rooting strategy in this market with the agreements made in 2014 in the cruise sector for the local market, and subsequently established a branch office in China, headquartered in Shanghai, the Fincantieri (Shanghai) Trading Co. Ltd.

The Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT) projects China to be the second largest global cruise market after the U.S. in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and internal demand in this sector. China could see 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2020, according to the MOT, and exceed 10 million within 20 years. This expansion could require more than 100 passenger ships. The potential collaborations as the ones between Fincantieri and HRDD aim at supporting the MOT’s expansion policies in the cruise sector and the increase of the entire tourism in China, estimated in a double-digit growth each year from 2014.

Between 2013 and 2015 the number of ships deployed in Asia was increased by 10%, reaching 52 units of 26 brands, with an offer of 1,065 cruises. Besides placing latest-generation ships, specifically built for the customers of that area, the main cruise operators, active in this segment, are also pursuing a dedicated brand creation policy and alliances with other local operators.

Genting Hong Kong acquires three more shipyards in Germany

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Alan Lam reporting

Genting Hong Kong, a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality group that operates three cruise brands, has just announced the acquisition of three shipyards - in Wismar, Warnemunde and Stralsund - from Nordic Yards for a total of €230.6 million.

The Asia based group is making huge strides into the highly consolidated cruise ship building sphere. This move came shortly after the acquisition of Lloyd Werft last year. It forms a part of Genting’s global fleet expansion and cruise business strategy.

“The rapid growth of the world cruise industry,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Genting Hong Kong, “especially in China, has led to cruise ship order book reaching an all-time high. In order to ensure that the company can build the required number of cruise ships in the next decade for our global fleet expansion, it is strategic that we acquired shipyards that can build our cruise ships in a timely basis and in a more cost effective manner.”

The three new yards and the previously acquired Lloyd Werft will come under the Lloyd Werft Group. It will effectively become another major European cruise ship builder. Having its own shipyards will free the company from both the delivery time constrains and pricing uncertainties associated with depending on other builders - most of whom have orderbook levels at a historic high at present - thus allowing the management to focus on other strategic aspects of the cruise business.

These shipyards are substantial in sizes, with covered drydocks and building halls: the Wismar shipyard’s drydock measures 340 metres long and 67 metres wide; the Warnemunde shipyard’s drydock measures 320 metres long and 54 metres wide, capable of building cruise ships bigger than the Oasis class; the Stralsund shipyard has a ship lift to launch cruise ships and megayachts up to 270 metres long. With further investment, these yards together will have a steel fabrication capacity of about 150,000 tons a year, sufficient to build a number of cruise ships and a megayachts annually.

“With all the yards situated in Germany,” continued Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, “a country with a long tradition of efficiency in building high quality and innovative cruise ships and megayachts, the Lloyd Werft Group, with approximately 1,700 experienced management and workers, is well placed to succeed as one of the best cruise and megayacht ship building companies in the world. Germany is also where the largest cluster of marine equipment suppliers are located and has excellent government maritime coordination policies. The investment in the Lloyd Werft Group will have good returns from the 10-year planned orderbook, fits perfectly with the company’s global cruise strategy and is in the long-term interest of the Company.”

So the Genting story continues …

Wismar yard allows Genting to build large vessels

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The Wismar shipyard that Genting Hong Kong, parent company of Star cruises and Crystal Cruises, allows the construction of very large vessels.

The three newly acquired shipyards feature covered drydocks and building halls, resulting in high labor productivity and completion quality as cruise ships can be constructed regardless of weather conditions.

“The Wismar shipyard’s drydock measures 340m long and 67m wide and the Warnemunde shipyard’s drydock measures 320m long and 54m wide and are capable of building cruise ships larger than the largest cruise ships currently afloat. The Stralsund shipyard has a ship lift to launch cruise ships and megayachts up to 270m long,” Genting Hong Kong said in a statement.

“These shipyards, with further investment, will have a steel fabrication capacity of about 150,000 tons a year, sufficient to build a number of cruise ships and a megayacht yearly,” it added.

Star Cruises is currently building two 150,000 gross ton vessels at Meyer Werft, while Lloyd Werft is to construct three 100,000 gross ton ships for Crystal Cruises.

“With all the yards situated in Germany, a country with a long tradition of efficiency in building high quality and innovative cruise ships and megayachts, the Lloyd Werft Group, with approximately 1,700 experienced management and workers, is well placed to succeed as one of the best cruise and megayacht shipbuilding companies in the world. Germany is also where the largest cluster of marine equipment suppliers are located and has excellent Government maritime coordination policies,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay.

“The investment in the Lloyd Werft Group will have good returns from the 10 year planned order book, fits perfectly with the Company’s global cruise strategy and is in the long term interest of the Company”

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