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Viking Ocean Cruises signs two ship deal with Fincantieri

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Viking Ocean Cruises, a sister company of Viking River Cruises, the world’s leading river cruise line, and Fincantieri, world leader in cruise shipbuilding, announced the signature of a Memorandum of Agreement for the construction of two new luxury ocean cruise ships, with an option for a third vessel, Fincantieri said in a statement.

The two ships will be small by today’s standards at about 45,000 GRT and will host 998 passengers in 499 cabins. Viking had unveiled its ambition to expand to ocean cruising in December 2011, when it signed an initial contract with STX France to build the two ships. However, ths did not lead to a firm order.

The first ship is scheduled for delivery in late 2014, the second one in late 2015. The parties have reached an agreement on the deal and expect to sign the contract shortly, once the final documents and conditions are finalised.

The parties succeeded in signing the agreement, highly important  especially as it comes in a period of economic crisis, and have applied for the support of the Italian export credit programme involving SACE and SIMEST and, if eligible, the funding from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

Torstein Hagen, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Viking, commented on the announcement: We are very excited to be working with Fincantieri.  We started Viking with the goal of bringing the destination back to cruising and we are excited to bring this same destination commitment back to ocean cruising. The ship designed by Fincantieri has a fresh and innovative design well suited to our commitment to destination cruising."

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted and honored  having been selected by Viking Ocean Cruises to build such an innovative project. Considering the economic crisis, this agreement between Fincantieri and the new customer represents a strong sign of renewed confidence in the sector growth, also because Viking, the world leader in river cruises, enters for the very first time the ocean cruises sector". This agreement demonstrates the success of Ficantieri’s strategy to regain its competiveness in the market.  This new Project, which, is the beginning of a new phase, will further reinforce to our employees the confidence we have for the future."


Norwegian Getaway to sail year-round from Miami

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

PortMiami and Norwegian Cruise Line have announced that Norwegian Cruise Line's new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Getaway, will make Miami her year-round home port. Norwegian Getaway - which will be the largest ship ever to home port year-round in Miami - will embark on weekly cruises beginning in the spring of 2014. Miami-Dade County officials joined Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan today at PortMiami on board Norwegian Spirit for this announcement.

"PortMiami is pleased to be the home of the most modern and innovative ships on the seas today. Norwegian Getaway will be a great addition to our fleet," said Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. "We are anxious to welcome Norwegian Getaway to the Cruise Capital of the World."
Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise brand to sail from Miami.

"Miami has been the home of this Company since our beginning in 1966. Therefore, we are so excited to bring one of our two new Breakaway-class ships here to Miami to homeport year-round," said Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan. "Norwegian Getaway will embrace all that the Magic City has to offer and will offer an extraordinary cruise experience to the more than 4,000 guests who will sail on her each week beginning in spring 2014."

Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, joined County Commission Chairman Joe A. Martinez in welcoming this new vessel to South Florida.

"The Norwegian brand is known around the world for its Freestyle Cruising," Sosa said. "We are looking forward to bringing a new Norwegian ship to our community."
PortMiami Director Bill Johnson said, "Norwegian vessels will generate more than one million passenger moves annually through the Port once Norwegian Getaway arrives, contributing an estimated $500,000,000 each year to Florida's economy. Norwegian Getaway alone is expected to generate 450,000 passenger moves each year."

Norwegian Cruise Line has been sailing its ships from PortMiami longer than any other cruise brand, since the company's origins in 1966. Norwegian currently has three ships sailing seasonally from Miami, including Norwegian Epic, the line's largest vessel carrying more than 4,100 guests. Norwegian Sky has been sailing three and four-day itineraries to the Bahamas year-round from Miami since 2007.

Being built at Meyer Werft in Germany, Norwegian Getaway will be 144,000 gross tons and is scheduled for delivery in spring 2014. Norwegian will announce the ship's inaugural itineraries and on-sale dates later this year. Norwegian Getaway's sister ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will begin sailing from her year-round home port of New York City in May 2013.

Ocean Pearl sold, Gemini chartered for the Olympics

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

The cruise vessel Ocean Pearl, which was on charter to Happy Cruises until September 2011, and which has been laid-up in Tilbury since then, available for sale or charter, has been sold. The vessel will be delivered mid-April 2012 to its Far Eastern buyers. ISP has been contracted, on behalf of the buyers, to position the vessel to a Far Eastern shipyard, where it will undergo an interior upgrade to a five star luxury vessel prior to entering the cruise market in that region.

The cruise vessel Gemini, which was also redelivered by Happy Cruises in September 2011, and which has also been laid-up in Tilbury, UK, has been chartered out for approximately 30 days from mid-July to mid-August 2012. The vessel will be used by the London Organization Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to provide accommodation for key workers during the London 2012 Games.

After redelivery mid-August, the vessel will again be available for sale or charter.