MSC Cruises, the world’s fourth largest cruise shipping group, has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, for the construction of four ultra-luxury cruise ships for a total value in excess of €2 billion, the shipbuilder said in a statement.
The ships, the first of which will be delivered in Spring 2023, will have gross tonnage of about 64,000 gross tons and feature 500 cabins. The remaining three ships will come into service one per year over the following three years.
The ships will feature, amongst other, the best and latest environmental technology and other cutting-edge maritime solutions at sea. They will also showcase highly-innovative design as well as introduce ground-breaking options for guest comfort and relax.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, said: “It is off the back of the great success of our ship-within-a-ship luxury concept that our guests asked us to enter into the ultra-luxury segment, as a natural evolution of the MSC Yacht Club. These ships will be able to offer unique itineraries, thanks to their size, and the guest services will be taken to another level, including our personalised MSC Yacht Club butler service, available 24/7.
Vago continued, “I am especially pleased to be able to further extend our partnership with Fincantieri through this new order. The award-winning Seaside and Seaside-Evo class have already been recognised as ground-breaking and innovative designs. We are now introducing another new class, which will establish a new standard of ultra-luxury at sea with ships that will showcase the quality and highest standards that are associated with Made in Italy.”
Carnival Cruise Line, the US focused contemporary market unit in Carnival Corporation & plc group, said it would transform the 2000 built Carnival Victory of 101,509 gross tons into Carnival Radiance – representing the final phase of a $2 billion fleet enhancement programme.
It is the third and final unit of the Carnival Triumph class to undergo the transformation.
The refurbishment of Carnival Victory will add the line’s popular culinary, bar and entertainment innovations and complete an “any ship, any port, any itinerary” level of service and offerings across its fleet of 26 ships that is unparalleled in the cruise industry.
Following a 38-day dry dock in Cadiz, Spain, Carnival Radiance will enter service in 2020. Homeport and itinerary details for the new Carnival Radiance will be announced in mid-November.
“We have been investing in our products, amenities and experience offerings at unprecedented levels which are driving higher results in guest satisfaction, passenger yields and onboard revenue,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our guests and travel agent partners can count on a high degree of consistency and quality vacation offerings across all our fleet and homeports regardless of what ship they’re sailing on. Ultimately, this effort is about driving demand by giving each and every guest a memorable vacation and offering a reason to come back to Carnival again and again. And it’s clearly working based on extremely positive feedback from the more than five million guests we carry each year.”
As part of the fleet enhancement program, popular features are nearly ubiquitous across the fleet through a combination of branded offerings which provide guests with a consistent level of dining, entertainment and amenities, including:
Casual F&B options, Poolside venues like Guy’s Burger Joint and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, in collaboration with Food Network star Guy Fieri, BlueIguana Cantina & Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar, as well as upgrades to Lido Deck buffets and The Deli, and popular features like Swirls self-serve ice cream stations, coffee bars and 24-hour pizza.
Specialty dining, including The Chef’s Table fine dining experience, the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, as well as Italian, sushi and seafood options.
Shopping and Personal Care, including Cherry on Top sweet shops, Pixels photo galleries, expanded retail outlets and offerings and renovated fitness and spa facilities.
Outdoor Decks and Attractions, including massive new water parks with huge slides and kiddie splash zones, Serenity adults-only areas, new miniature golf courses and more.
Youth & Family Entertainment, including game arcades, and dedicated Camp Ocean, Circle “C” and Club O2 facilities hosting supervised children’s programming for kids 2-17.
Theater & Live Entertainment, including Punchliner Comedy Clubs, Playlist Productions shows, Rock Band 2.0, live entertainment, deck parties, onboard programming and piano bars.
Technology upgrades, including fleetwide roll-out of the Carnival HubApp to allow all guests to check-in online, book dining, spa treatments and shore excursions, keep abreast of ship news and activities, and communicate with their fellow travelers.
Award-winning enhanced NextGen Connectivity solution that creates a best in class Wi-Fi experience onboard enabling guests who want to be connected a content rich experience and ability to seamlessly access their favorite social media applications, news, email, and the internet with enhanced speed.
Carnival launched its fleet enhancement program in 2011. Since that time, it has completed refurbishments to more than 20 ships, taken delivery of three new ships and has three additional ships scheduled for delivery through 2022.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Silversea Cruises today announced agreements to build three new ships for Silversea Cruises, the ultra-luxury and expedition cruise brand that recently joined the RCL family.
Silversea signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build two new vessels in a new “Evolution Class.” The first Evolution-class ship is expected to deliver in 2022.
Silversea also signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct a new expedition vessel, named Silver Origin, that will serve the Galapagos Islands itinerary currently sailed by Silver Galapagos. The new ship is expected for delivery in March 2020.
“We are delighted to have entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft on the Silver Evolution series and De Hoop for Silver Origin,” says Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman. “With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galápagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel.”
“We are excited to get to work helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which finalized its two-thirds acquisition of Silversea earlier this year. “There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travelers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them.”
“We are very happy to build these new ships for Silversea Cruises. Together with Silversea we will create a new generation of environmentally friendly ships in the ultra-luxury cruise market,” said Tim Meyer, Managing Director of Meyer Werft.
“We are excited and proud to receive this order,” said Patrick A.B.M. Janssens MA, CEO, Shipyard De Hoop. “It is not only about building the best small expedition cruise vessel, but also about building and maintaining a high-quality partnership with Royal Caribbean and Silversea.”
The agreements are subject to certain contingencies which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
Ulstein Design & Solutions AS in Norway won a design and equipment contract for an X-BOW expedition cruise vessel from SunStone Ships in Miami last year. The contract included nine options and the first one has now been declared, Ulstein said in a statement.
The first vessel for SunStone, which has received the name ‘Greg Mortimer’, is well underway at the CMHI (China Merchants Heavy Industry) yard, and is set to sail off for her first cruise after her completion in Q4 2019. This vessel, as well as the next one, have been chartered by the Australian Aurora Expeditions.
“We decided to partner up with Ulstein due to their hull and the technical design, as well as their site team in China to supervise the production,” said Niels-Erik Lund, President/CEO SunStone Ships when announcing the first vessel.
He stated: “It was of utmost importance that we developed an expedition cruise vessel of high quality and with proven design and technology. Ulstein has designed more than 105 vessels with the X-BOW design. These hulls have been developed for rough weather, high comfort and great fuel efficiency.”
Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO in Ulstein Group and COO Design & Solutions comments: "We are pleased that SunStone starts to declare their options with CMHI. This shows that our designs and solutions fulfil their expectations. In addition to the design and equipment package, we will support the yard with a site team. This includes pre-commissioning and commissioning, testing and sea trial assistance. When the SunStone vessels start cruising, we believe they will be highly attractive to the expedition cruise passengers"
Ulstein’s contract is with the China Merchants Group (CMG), China, and the vessels will be built at their yard. This second ship is scheduled for delivery in August 2020. Ulstein is responsible for the delivery of the design and equipment package with all main equipment being of proven technology and from well-known manufacturers in Europe.
The expedition cruise vessels are the first of their kind in which the ULSTEIN X-BOW® hull design has been implemented. The shape of the X-BOW enables the passengers to stand at the bow and look directly down to where the waves meet the hull. The bow leads to reduced ship movements, and therefore a more comfortable stay. The X-BOW has a tapered fore ship shape to pierce waves of all heights, resulting in reduced pitching and bow impact loads in rough seas. It prevents the vessel from rising on the waves and dropping violently onto the water’s surface. The vessel needs less fuel to cut through the waves, reducing fuel costs and energy use, and thus reducing emissions.
It's not just the X-BOW® that makes these ships stand out. The layout is designed for indoor excellence and outdoor experiences. Observation decks and balconies offer a range of views to the spectacular surroundings. A high class restaurant and bar serve all-day delicacies and refreshments.
The ULSTEIN CX103 expedition cruise ship is 104.3 metres long and 18.4 metres wide. The SunStone vessels are part of the Infinity Class, in which the passenger capacity can range from 130 to 200, and the crew capacity from 85 to 115. The hull will be built according to Polar Code 6, Category B, with dynamic positioning system and zero-speed stabilizers.
The Chairman of Blue Star Line, Clive Palmer confirmed in London this week that work has recommenced by Blue Star Line to build Titanic ll and to put Titanic ll into service on the London – New York route across the Atlantic.
Clive Palmer last announced progress on the Titanic ll project in 2015 when work was suspended due to his flagship company, Mineralogy, being in dispute with Chinese Government owned Citic Limited over the non-payment of hundreds of millions of dollars of royalties owed to Palmer companies.
“Citic Limited was just exporting millions of dollars of Mineralogy resources and refusing to pay for them,” Palmer said. In late 2017 the Western Australian Supreme Court ordered that Citic Limited pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back royalty payments to Blue Star Line’s parent company Mineralogy. Blue Star Line has the support of its holding company to build and operate Titanic ll. Each year Citic is required to continue to make substantial royalty payments.
Palmer confirmed that the financial constraints brought about by the failure of Citic to pay Mineralogy its financial entitlements were responsible for work on the project being suspended. Now those matters have been resolved, work has recommenced to build and operate Titanic ll.
Palmer was in London to confirm and issue a video showing the final technical specifications of the ship.
“Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort,’’ Palmer said.
“Titanic II is a unique project that will generate unprecedented international exposure and public interest.
“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits.
“Titanic ll will offer exclusive rights for global partners to leverage the Titanic ll brand for use in their licensing, advertising and marketing campaigns.
“Blue Star Line will deliver unparalleled global reach for our partners’ brands and products, penetrating a diverse range of markets across the world.
“In 1912 the Titanic was the ship of dreams. For over a century Titanic’s legend has been powered by mystery, intrigue and respect for all she stood for.
“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic ll will be the ship where those dreams come true,’’ Palmer said.
Palmer’s projects and companies have been responsible for creating over 60,000 jobs in Australia over the last 30 years.
See what Titanic ll will look like, deck by deck, with highlights of key features here: