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MV Werften starts construction on the first 204,000 gross ton Global Class ship

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Accompanied by the sound of ships' horns, construction work began on the first Global Class ship today. The Minister President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Manuela Schwesig, and the Chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, launched the flame cutter for the first steel cut in the Wismar yard of MV Werften. Just a few minutes later, first steel was cut in the Rostock yard. Both sites will be needed to manufacture the 204,000 gross ton Global Class ship, the largest to be built in Germany.

Production will take place in parallel in Wismar and Rostock, with final assembly to be carried out in the Wismar yard. The first Global Class ship is to be delivered at the end of 2020. Approximately 600 companies are involved in the construction process.

“After designing the Global Class ships for the last three years and investing over 210 million euros to make MV Werften the-state-of-the-art cruise shipbuilding yard in the last two years, we are very pleased to finally start construction on the first Global cruise ship today,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “These ships are not only the largest cruise ships to be built in Germany; they are also the most technologically advanced with artificial intelligence. The Global Class ships will follow the embrace of Asians of artificial intelligence in their daily lives, with facial and voice recognition for most services onboard and robots to perform mundane tasks, allowing the crew to focus on service delivery”, he added.

The Global Class ships are designed specifically for the rapidly growing Asian cruise market with popular features such as a Cineplex, theme park, Asian spa, authentic multiple Asian dining experiences including fast food alternatives and affordable shopping facilities in addition to luxury shopping facilities.

The Global Class ships will be 342 meters long and 46.40 meters wide with a draft of 9.50 meters. With a capacity of 204,000 gross tons (GT), the ship can accommodate about 5,000 passengers in 2,500 cabins based on a twin share basis. However, the cabins are uniquely designed for the Asian family and can comfortably sleep two, three or four persons with split (two) bathrooms, allowing for a wider price point for the Asian market. With total life-saving capacity of up to 9,500 passengers, the Global Class ships can cater for the extremely high peak holiday periods in Asia. In addition to the usual 28 large elevators, the Global Class will also have eight sets of escalators connecting the public areas, the first cruise ship to have escalators. With facial recognition, there will be minimal queuing for boarding, disembarkation and payments; contextual marketing to even out demand on ship facilities and other artificial intelligent systems.

Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV Werften, said: “We are manning up to the major challenge to build these magnificent ships and we will use all our skills and expertise to promote ‘Shipbuilding made in MV’ worldwide as a trademark of quality. We would like to thank our employees and partners for their excellent work during the design and planning phase. This achievement must now be carried forward in the construction phase.”

“The shipyards have a long tradition in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. They are important employers in our state. The building of cruise ships is a new challenge and the great chance to prove that shipbuilding in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a future,” said the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig.

“The start of construction is an important step for the maritime industry in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania,” explained Harry Glawe, Minister of Economics, Employment and Health. “With the onset of the construction of the Global Class cruise ship, MV WERFTEN continues to implement its strategy for the future of our country, supporting the construction of ships with the involvement of domestic suppliers and service providers. The outstanding orders will ensure the creation of important industrial jobs here in Germany.”

"Today is a truly historic day," said Wismar's mayor, Thomas Beyer. "The construction of the largest ship ever to be built in Wismar will now begin. We share in MV Werften's celebration and wish them great success and a productive and accident-free construction process."

MV Werften’s order book includes six more ships, to be completed by 2021; the Crystal Ravel will be handed over in April. The company began construction on the first of three expedition mega yachts in Stralsund this past January with the first delivery at the end of 2019. Construction on the second Global Class ship will begin in early 2019 for delivery at the end of 2021.

Norwegian announces new, dedicated terminal at PortMiami

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise company which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today unveiled the design of the new and dedicated Norwegian Cruise Line terminal at PortMiami. The terminal at PortMiami represents the continued relationship and strong ties between Norwegian and Miami, which has been the company’s home since its launch in 1966. Pending the final approval by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners, the project will commence in May 2018, and is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2019, as Norwegian Encore, the newest ship of the Breakaway Plus class, makes her debut in Miami with seasonal cruises to the Caribbean.

"Norwegian has been sailing from Miami for over fifty years, longer than any other cruise line, and we are honored to be partnering with PortMiami and Miami-Dade County to construct an iconic terminal that will contribute to Miami's world famous skyline and strengthen its position as the Cruise Capital of the World," said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "This terminal marks the latest step in our continual efforts to strengthen our presence in strategic home ports around the world. We look forward to welcoming Norwegian Encore and the thousands of guests sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line and her sister brands to this state-of-the-art terminal."

Norwegian is widely recognized for introducing modern-day cruising more than 50 years ago, by transforming a common means of transportation to a new style of vacation with its first Caribbean voyages out of the port of Miami and launching the city’s status as the "cruising capital of the world." As a result of the continued relationship, Miami-Dade County will invest $100 million to build a new terminal dedicated to Norwegian Cruise Line, with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. augmenting the county’s allocated funds with its own contribution to PortMiami, as was unveiled today at a press conference held at the 2018 Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition.

"Investing in PortMiami's infrastructure positions Miami as a global destination for visitors," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "The construction of a new cruise terminal with the capacity to berth an additional 5,000-passenger cruise ship represents thousands of jobs and increased opportunities for our community. We are grateful for Norwegian Cruise Line's continued partnership."

"PortMiami is proud to be recognized as the Cruise Capital of the World, welcoming more passengers than any other port in the world," said Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. "Norwegian Cruise Line's partnership is a big win for the growth and expansion of tourism in Miami-Dade County. We are honored by our partner's commitment to PortMiami and Miami-Dade County."

Globally recognized for their award-winning designs and projects around the world, the Miami-based firm of Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc., was selected to design the new terminal. The project will be constructed to LEED Silver standards, focusing on innovation in design and terminal operation to create a platform that will optimize energy performance, indoor air quality, water efficiencies and maximize the use of local materials and resources. After the press conference, attendees were able to get a close-up look of the new terminal through an interactive 3D virtual reality experience and model on display.

"The new Norwegian terminal will set the standard for passenger comfort and experience and will become an iconic building on Miami’s waterfront, a true representation of the role that Norwegian and PortMiami played as the pioneers of modern cruising," says Luis Ajamil, president and chief executive officer of Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc.

The modern terminal draws its inspiration from a nautilus, with its spiraled and multi-level façade, opening up to grand ocean views. Once complete it will be the new "pearl" of Miami, redefining the landscape of the city’s skyline. Innovative lighting, inviting indoor and outdoor waiting areas and other guest-centric elements will enhance the overall passenger experience. At nearly 166,500 square feet, the debuting Norwegian terminal will accommodate ships of up to 5,000 passengers, and feature new technology to support faster and more efficient embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as expedited security screening and luggage check-in. A dedicated lounge and service area will facilitate a warm and welcoming sense of arrival for large groups and charters, and a new parking garage, and valet parking area with direct access to the terminal and lounge are also scheduled to be completed.

CMV buys Pacific Eden for Australian and German markets - report

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

CMV Travel & Leisure Group (CMV) in the UK has bought Pacific Eden, delivered in 1993 as Statendam of Holland America Line, from P&O Cruises Australia, which is part of the Carnival Corporation & plc group Travel Weekly reports.

“The ship will operate under CMV’s German brand, TransOcean Kreuzfahrten, between May and October from both Bremerhaven and Kiel. It will then operate during the Australian December-March summer season from Fremantle and Adelaide,” the report said.

Pacific Eden is of about 55,000 gross tons and it will join the 21,000 gross ton Astor on the German and Australian itineraries of CMV

Following the delivery, which will take place in Singapore in April 2019, the ship will be docked for a short period during which it will undergo a livery change and rebranding plus renaming. It will then carry out its inaugural voyage to northern Europe via the Suez Canal. The summer 2019 German-based programme for the new ship will go on sale midway through next month.

CMV’s UK, North American and wider global markets will be marketing the voyages between Europe and the Antipodes and the wider Australian season.

The vessel will operate alongside CMV’s 1,400 passenger Columbus, 1,300-passenger Magellan, 800-passenger Marco Polo, 600-passenger Astor and 550-assenger Astoria.

Christian Verhounig, CMV’s chief executive and chairman,was quoted as saying: “We are very pleased to have concluded this deal and firmly believe that Pacific Eden will be a very popular addition to our fleet. This stylish traditional vessel is ideally suited to our business model and is in very good shape following a multi-million dollar refurbishment in 2016. As part of our mid-term growth plans the ship will provide the requirement level of extra capacity needed in Australia and Germany

Ponant to expand its fleet to 12 ships by 2021

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Ponant, the leader in expedition cruising and the only cruise line carrying the French flag, announced today the launch of two additional vessels which will expand its fleet to 12 ships with 2,000 crew members and 460 departures by 2021. "In an age when oversized ships are the norm, Ponant has made a strategic decision throughout its history to focus on small-ship cruising with all the intimacy and authenticity that it allows," the company said in a statement.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, Ponant specializes in destinations around the world that are inaccessible to larger ships such as Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and even the roof of the world at the Geographic North Pole and the North-East Passage.

Ponant’s expansion includes construction of the fifth and sixth vessels in the innovative Explorers series. The new yacht-like ships, to be called Le Bellot and Le Surville, will launch in 2020 with sleek design, state-of-the-art ship technology and respect for the environment – they will comply with the international CLEANSHIP label (Bureau Veritas). Each ship will have 92 cabins that are elegantly appointed with warm and contemporary design and balconies overlooking the sea. In addition, each ship will feature four suites with bay windows and terraces to take advantage of extraordinary views.

They will join sister Explorers ships Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville, launching in 2018 and 2019. Like the four already ordered, construction of these two additional ships will be entrusted to Norwegian shipyard Vard, part of Fincantieri Group. Ponant also recently announced that it will launch the first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with luxury appointments in 2021, yet another pioneering development in polar exploration.

These six Explorer ships will all offer the world’s first multi-sensory underwater lounge called “Blue Eye,” allowing passengers to discover and experience the underwater world via two portholes in the shape of a cetaceous eye, looking out into the marine world. There will be non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as body listening sofas, which will discreetly vibrate in unison with the streaming aquatic acoustics.

Viking Cruises to order six more vessels from Fincantieri

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

During the Seatrade Cruise Global, the most important annual event in the cruise sector, currently under way in Fort Lauderdale (Florida, USA), Fincantieri and Viking have announced that they entered an agreement for six further ocean ships, which would lead to a total number of 16 units built in cooperation between the two companies, expanding the horizon of the partnership until 2027.

The understanding for the new ships, whose delivery is scheduled for the years 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, is subject to specific conditions. In fact, Fincantieri and the shipowner will develop an advanced project based on the successful characteristics of the previous ships, updated and revisited in line with the latest technologies available on the market.

Viking’s current ocean fleet includes ships having exclusively all-veranda staterooms, a gross tonnage of about 47,800 tons with accommodation for 930 passengers in 465 cabins.

As of today, Fincantieri has delivered four ships to Viking Ocean Cruises. The first of the series, Viking Star, has been built at the shipyard in Marghera and delivered in March 2015; the second the third and the fourth, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, took the sea from the Ancona shipyard respectively in March 2016, January and September 2017. The further six units in the order book will be delivered respectively in 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022 (2 units) and 2023.

On the sidelines of today’s announcement, Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, commented: “We are proud to have trusted a start up which has proved highly successful. In 2012, in fact, the partnership with this prestigious ship owner began with two ships and as of today we nearly count 16 units. It’s an all-time record, the highest number of ships from one single ship owner for a shipyard, which makes Viking, already the worldwide first river cruise company, the leader also in the small ship ocean cruise market”. Bono then continued: “Furthermore, the agreement confirms the extraordinary moment of the demand in this sector. This allows Fincantieri to consolidate its worldwide leadership, laying the groundwork to enhance the order book with a workload ensuring today work safety for the next 10 years”.

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