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Construction begins for LNG-powered Costa Smeralda at Meyer Turku

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Construction work began today on Costa Smeralda after her steel-cutting ceremony held at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland. The new Costa Cruises' ship will be the brand’s first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the world’s first cruise ship to be broadly marketed to consumers from multiple countries throughout Europe.

Construction of the Costa Smeralda is part of a strategic plan from Carnival Corporation & plc – the world’s largest cruise company with 10 brands, including Costa Cruises – to build seven LNG-powered ships for its 103-ship fleet, starting in fall 2018 when the company’s German-based AIDA Cruises brand introduces AIDAnova, which will be marketed largely to German consumers.

Costa Smeralda, which will enter service in October 2019, will exceed 180,000 gross tons and offer more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of about 6,600 passengers onboard. A second ship, sister to Costa Smeralda, will be delivered by Meyer Turku in 2021.

The two new Costa Cruises ships will be powered both in port and on the open sea by LNG, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. LNG will be stored in special tanks on board ships and will be used to generate 100 percent of the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. The use of LNG is a major innovation in terms of environmental impact, as it will significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions, in particular sulphur (SO2), nitrogen (NO2), CO2 and particulate matter.

“These ships will strengthen the leadership position for the Costa Group, which is already the market leader in all the major continental Europe markets,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “The multibillion dollar contract with Meyer, which also includes two new LNG-powered ships to be built for our German brand, AIDA Cruises, reflects our strategy of constantly innovating our vacation offerings and providing our guests with an unmatched cruise experience.”

“The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true global innovation and set new standards for the entire sector,” added Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. “They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology, especially in the Mediterranean area, and they will be the world’s first LNG-powered ships that will be marketed to consumers from multiple countries, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The new ships will also offer unique services and present a state-of-the-art interior design, serving as the perfect expression of our Italy's Finest concept, which is a distinguishing feature of the Costa Cruises brand around the world for providing guests with a truly immersive Italian experience.”

“In the last two years, we have had a very intense design collaboration with our customer and the outcome is a really fresh and new design fused with the latest of technology. We are happy to bring our experience with building LNG powered passenger ships to bear. Today is a very special moment in shipbuilding, when all the ideas, creativity, technology and signature design that is going into Costa’s new ships, are finally starting to become reality.” – stated Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.

Costa Smeralda will be offering cruises in Western Mediterranean, which will be on sale beginning the first few months of 2018. LNG bunkering will be provided by Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell), as announced last year.

The two LNG Costa ships – as well as two new ships for AIDA Cruises – are part of a multibillion dollar contract signed with the two Meyer shipyards in Turku (Finland) and Papenburg (Germany). The contract with Meyer is the result of a larger previously announced memo of understanding between Carnival Corporation, the parent company of Costa Group, and leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft, Meyer Turku and Fincantieri S.p.A. for nine new ships between 2019 and 2022.

Vard wins contract for 93 metre ship from Coral Expeditions

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Vard, the Norwegian shipbuilder controlled by Fincantieri, said it has signed a contract to build an expedition cruise vessel for Coral Expeditions of Australia.

Newly developed by Vard Design in Norway in close cooperation with the customer, the vessel is specially designed for small ship expedition cruises to remote and exotic destinations in the regions of Asia-Pacific.

The vessel of VARD 6 01 design, measuring a total length of 93.5 meters with a beam of 17.2 meters, will have a guest accommodation capacity of 120. True to the Coral Expeditions business concept, the ship environment is geared for daily shore expeditions, lectures and briefings, with high standards of comfort and care. Delivery is scheduled from Vard Vung Tau in Vietnam in 1Q 2019.

With a 34 year history of innovation, Coral Expeditions is recognised as Australia’s longest established and most awarded expedition cruise operator. Starting with environmentally-sensitive cruises on the Great Barrier Reef, the fleet has grown to three Australian-flagged ships that include two oceangoing catamarans, Coral Expeditions I and Coral Expeditions II, and the flagship 63m Coral Discoverer.Headquartered in Cairns,

Coral Expeditions offers expedition cruises to largely unseen parts of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Islands of the South Pacific, Tasmania, and South East Asia, the shipbuilder said.


Silversea orders sister ship for Silver Muse

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Silversea Cruises and Fincantieri have signed a contract worth about 310 million euros for the construction of a new ultra-luxury cruise ship, due to join the shipowner’s fleet in 2020.

The new unit, tentatively named Silver Moon, will be a sister ship of Silver Muse, delivered in April at the shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa). At 40,700 gross tons and with a capacity to accommodate 596 passengers on board, she will maintain the small-ship intimacy and spacious all-suite accommodations which are hallmarks of the Silversea experience.

"The new build will expand Silversea's fleet to 10 ships. Once operating, she will significantly raise the bar in the ultra-luxury segment with a wealth of enhancements to the on board experience, while satisfying the uncompromising requirements for comfort, service, and quality of the world's most discerning travelers," companies said in a joint statement.

Among the voluntary notations of the ship, the "Green star 3 Design” stands out. It is assigned to units that are designed, built and equipped in order to prevent air and water pollution. Furthermore, the “COMF-NOISE A PAX” and “COMF-NOISE B CREW” are assigned on the basis of the noise levels measured on the ship. Results have confirmed the extremely high level of comfort offered to passengers on board.

Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, Chairman of Silversea, commented: “Based on the high praise Silver Muse has earned with our guests, we are eager to build on our flagship's success and move forward with a sister ship, which will bring us closer to fulfilling my father's dream of a 12-ship fleet. We pride ourselves on delivering an outstanding luxury cruise experience, and are delighted to partner once again with expert luxury shipbuilder Fincantieri as we continue to grow and evolve our fleet."

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, stated: “We have a trusted relationship with Silversea which was born many years ago and is renewed today thanks to this important order. We are very glad to build a new ship for this fleet, moreover based on a successful project like the one of Silver Muse, of which we are particularly proud of." Bono concluded: "The ultra-luxury segment confirms to be among those embodying orders even after the peak of the past few years, and Fincantieri has again proved to be the undisputed shipbuilding group in this such prestigious market niche."

Hurtigruten, investors inject NOK300 million in Kleven Group

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition cruise and coastal passenger shipping company, has taken a stake in the Kleven Group, whose shipyard in building two expedition cruise ships for the company.

Hurtigruten has become a partner in a new investment company together with TDR, the UK based capital fund that controls Hurtigruten and an investment company of Petter A. Stordalen, the Norwegian hotel owner billionaire that also has a stake in the expedition cruise company.

The investment company has injected cash into the privately owned Kleven Group and become its biggest shareholder with a stake of 40%, Hurtigruten said in a statement. In all, the Norwegian shipbuilder received NOK300 million in new equity.

"Kleven is one of the foremost examples of Norwegian shipbuilding industry in world class. Now we join forces to develop further that unique competence, secure new local jobs and create growth in the group that is building ships of the future,” said Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten, in a statement.

Other investors that also inject equity into the Kleven Group include Lurssen, the privately owned German builder of megayachts, plus Norwegian investors.


Hurricane Irma – Royal Caribbean International to assist St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Key West

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Royal Caribbean International provided the following Hurricane Irma update on September 9 at 6 pm:

"We are closely monitoring Hurricane Irma’s path and its potential impact to our current and upcoming sailings. Royal Caribbean’s Chief Meteorologist, James Van Fleet, is closely tracking the storm’s progress, and the current forecast is as follows:

Hurricane Irma is a category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 mph. The storm is currently located between Cuba and the Lower Keys and is moving northwest at 9 mph. The storm should exit the Florida area late Monday, pre-dawn Tuesday.

We are mobilizing ships and supplies to help people in need. In coordination with the US and local governments we are dispatching ships to St. Thomas and St. Maarten and stand ready to assist Key West, Tampa and other locations. Presently, Adventure of the Seas will make a humanitarian stop in St. Maarten on Sunday and Majesty of the Seas will make humanitarian calls in St. Thomas and St. Maarten to provide supplies and also assist in transporting evacuees in St. Maarten to safety. Additionally, we have Empress of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas ready to assist Key West and Tampa once the impact of the storm is known.

The following sailings are departing as scheduled:

– Liberty of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise

– Serenade of the Seas: September 10 New England/Canada cruise

The following sailings are canceled:

– NEW: Majesty of the Seas: September 15 Bahamas cruise

We are cancelling this cruise to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/9 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

– Majesty of the Seas (CHARTER): September 11 Bahamas cruise

Thirty One Gifts has made the decision to cancel this sailing. If you have any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The following sailings are being modified:

– Allure of the Seas: September 10 Western Caribbean cruise

The new departure date will be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary, with an overnight in Nassau, Bahamas. We will continue to watch the path of the storm, and if Nassau as a port of call is no longer an option, we will instead call on our private island of Labadee, Haiti, which has weathered the storm well.

We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry for the storm’s impact on your vacation. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

– Harmony of the Seas: September 9 Eastern Caribbean cruise

The new departure date will now be on Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, and an additional 50% future cruise credit.

– Oasis of the Seas: September 10 Eastern Caribbean cruise

The new departure date will now be on Wednesday, 9/13 and we will sail a 4-night itinerary to Cozumel, Mexico. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us, your refund will be increased to 50% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit, as well as an additional 50% future cruise credit.

– Enchantment of the Seas: September 11 Bahamas cruise

The new departure date will be Tuesday, 9/12 and we will sail a 3-night itinerary to the Bahamas. Given the unpredictability of Irma, we will advise if there are any changes to the itinerary as soon as we know. We know this change is disappointing, and we are truly sorry. Should you choose to sail with us we will provide you with a refund of 25% of your cruise fare paid in the form of a refundable onboard credit.

Given the changes to these sailings, if you are unable to travel and need to cancel your cruise, we will provide you with a 100% future cruise credit. Pre-booked shore excursions will be refunded to your original form of payment, and you will have the ability to book excursions in our new ports of call once onboard," Royal Caribbean International said in a statement.