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Seabourn Celebrates Float Out Of New Seabourn Encore

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Seabourn celebrated the float out of its new Seabourn Encore at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard in Italy. A bottle breaks on the ship's bow to mark the significant occasion. (PRNewsFoto/Seabourn)
Seabourn celebrated the float out of its new Seabourn Encore at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy. A bottle breaks on the ship’s bow to mark the significant occasion. (PRNewsFoto/Seabourn)

SEATTLE, March 4, 2016 / — Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, celebrated another milestone in the construction of its new Seabourn Encore, with the ship touching water for the first time today. Following a traditional ceremony to commemorate this significant occasion, the ship will be “floated out” from its dry dock to its outfitting dock at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy, where it will undergo final construction until the ship is delivered at the end of 2016.

During the ceremony, the ship’s “madrina” cut the cord to begin the water flow to the ship’s building dock. Marnie Tihany, the director of business development for Tihany Design and wife of hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, served as the madrina of Seabourn Encore. Adam Tihany is the visionary who will bring Seabourn’s bespoke aesthetic to life aboard Encore.

“Seeing Seabourn Encore in the water is a very special moment and represents another important step toward the completion of our highly-anticipated ship,” said Richard Meadows, Seabourn President. “We continue to hear from our guests and travel industry partners about their excitement for this incredible ship, and they are just as eager as we are to welcome her to the Seabourn family later this year.”

Seabourn Encore is being fashioned by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, with contemporary interiors and modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line’s reputation for understated elegance. The ship will expand and build on the line’s award-winning and highly acclaimed Odyssey-class ships, which revolutionized ultra-luxury cruising with enhanced accommodations and innovative amenities when they were introduced between 2009 and 2011. Seabourn Encore will maintain the line’s high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. The 40,350-GRT ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda.

Seabourn will continue to reveal renderings and updates about Seabourn Encore via the dedicated microsite: http://encore.seabourn.com. Filled with imagery, details and news of the ship’s continuing progress, including “sunsets until launch,” the microsite offers an inside look at the most exciting Seabourn launch in years.

Seabourn is consistently ranked among the world’s top travel choices by professional critics and the discerning readers of prestigious travel publications such as Departures, Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler.  Its stylish, distinctive cruising vacations are renowned for:

  • Intimate ships with no more than 300 suites
  • Unique itineraries visiting must-see cities and hidden gems where larger ships cannot follow
  • Intuitive, gracious service provided by a staff passionate about pleasing our guests
  • Spacious all-suite accommodations with sweeping ocean views – many with verandas
  • Gourmet dining experiences as fine as the best restaurants anywhere
  • Open bars throughout the ship and fine wines poured with lunch and dinner

Seabourn is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. The exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises, AIDA, P&O Cruises UK, P&O Cruises Australia and fathom. Seabourn is a brand of Carnival Corporation and plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL and NYSE: CUK). It has formed a partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to help protect World Heritage, and also supports the Ocean Conservation & Tourism Alliance, dedicated to education and promotion of best practices for protecting the marine environment.

Click to Tweet: .@SeabournCruise celebrates float out of new Seabourn Encore with the ship touching water for the first time today

Aurora Australis en route to Australia

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The Aurora Australis has been deemed seaworthy and will begin its voyage back to Australia. (Photo: James Doube)
The Aurora Australis has been deemed seaworthy and will begin its voyage back to Australia. (Photo: James Doube)

The Aurora Australis has been deemed seaworthy and will depart Mawson research station today (2 March), with essential personnel on board for the voyage back to Australia.

The assessment of the Aurora Australis, which took four days to complete, has been verified by external maritime experts, including the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

The icebreaker’s voyage back to Australia with P&O Maritime crew and two support staff from the Australian Antarctic Division on board is expected to take 11 days.

The other expeditioners scheduled to return home with the ship will remain at Mawson research station for the time being. The Australian Antarctic Division has plans well in hand for returning expeditioners to Australia, and hopes to officially sign off on arrangements in the coming days.

Expeditioners at Mawson research station awaiting return to Australia include scientists and support staff associated with the marine science voyage that preceded the grounding, and those who have been at Mawson for winter (2015) and summer (15/16).

Expeditioners remain in good spirits and many are analysing data from the completed marine science voyage and exploring the area around station.

While the Aurora Australis sustained minor structural damage to the hull, the grounding did not impact the propulsion or steering capability of the ship.

P&O Maritime say the safety of those on board the ship and ensuring no impact on the marine environment during the passage were the highest priorities of the thorough assessment.

The destination of the Aurora Australis remains dependent on the availability of a suitable shipyard where repairs can be undertaken.

More than 30 expeditioners who were based at Davis research station and scheduled to return to Australia on the Aurora Australis are currently en route to Australia on the Division’s Airbus 319.

Norwegian Cruise Line names world’s first purpose-built liner for Chinese market Norwegian Joy

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Wiesbaden, February 29, 2016 – Internationally-acclaimed Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled the English and Chinese names for the world’s first purpose-built cruise liner for the China market. The most innovative ship ever styled exclusively for Chinese guests has been named ‘Norwegian Joy’ – translating into Chinese as 喜悦号 (Xǐ Yuè Hào). The name Norwegian Joy emphasises the experience that the ship will offer — 尽享喜悦  海上乐园, a promise that guests will ‘Experience Paradise on the Sea’.

“After closely studying the Chinese cruise market for several years, we wanted to be clear about what we will deliver to our guests on this spectacular vessel,” said Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio. “Norwegian Joy will provide the same sense of freedom and flexibility found on all Norwegian Cruise Line ships, but with resort-style holiday experiences and amenities designed specifically with the Chinese guest in mind.”

Norwegian Joy

With a capacity of 3.900 guests, the new Breakaway Plus-Class vessel will debut in China in Summer 2017. Norwegian Joy is designed specifically for the Chinese traveller, with cuisine and on-board experiences that cater to the unique holiday preferences of Chinese guests. This unrivalled customisation for the China market has involved detailed consultation with Chinese partners and local experts on the subtleties of Chinese culture and preferences.

The upscale cruise experience especially tailored for modern Chinese travellers extends from world-class entertainment to a wide range of specially curated fine international dining, unrivalled duty-free luxury shopping at sea and a new range of incredible first-at-sea activities on board.

“Chinese guests will discover an unmatched quality of service, cuisine, entertainment and retail experience on board Norwegian Joy that is simply not available in the China market today,” said Senior Vice President and Managing Director of China, David Herrera. “With Norwegian Joy, we will unquestionably offer our Chinese guests a superior product and introduce a new standard of innovation and excellence into what will soon be the world’s second largest cruise market.”

Additional details, including the ship’s homeport, accommodation, dining and entertainment will be shared in the coming months.

Nuò Wéi Zhēn

In addition to the ship name, NCL has also revealed a new Chinese name and logo exclusively for the mainland China market. The company’s name will be represented by characters 诺唯真 (Nuò Wéi Zhēn), translating as a ‘Promising, Exclusive and Authentic’ cruise line, which perfectly reflects the company’s dedication to offering the premier cruise product in China. Along with outstanding entertainment, dining and upscale accommodations, Norwegian Cruise Line is renowned for a unique style of cruising known as Freestyle Cruising that offers guests the freedom and flexibility to dine, shop and enjoy entertainment on their own time schedule in a fun, relaxed, and energetic atmosphere. Only on Norwegian can guests enjoy their holiday at their leisure, with no set dining times, a wide array of dining experiences and a variety of award-winning entertainment.

To support NCL’s expansion in China, the company has opened offices in Beijing (Guomao CBD) and Shanghai (Xintiandi), supporting all three brands in the company’s portfolio – Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

With a fleet of 14 liners cruising worldwide, Norwegian Cruise Line was this year voted “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” for the eighth consecutive year in the prestigious World Travel Awards, as well as “Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line” for the third time and “World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line” for the fourth year running.

Aurora Australis successfully refloated

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antarcticThe Aurora Australis has been successfully refloated and has made its way out of Mawson harbour.

The ship now remains in the vicinity of Mawson research station, where crew will conduct a thorough assessment of damage over the coming days.

There is no evidence of any oil pollution.

The ship was refloated last night at 7:20pm AEDT (1:20pm Mawson time), following the transfer of 37 expeditioners safely to shore via barge earlier in the day.

P&O Maritime crew used a combination of internal ballast transfers and work boats to refloat the ship during a rising tide.

Expeditioners were transported ashore via three barge trips over one hour, with up to 15 expeditioners on each trip. The expeditioners arrived at the Mawson station wharf, and were then taken by a Hagglunds snow vehicle to the station.

The Australian Antarctic Division is consulting with other national Antarctic programs to develop options for transporting the expeditioners from Mawson research station back to Australia.

The US Antarctic program is assisting in transporting expeditioners from another of Australia’s research stations. More than 30 expeditioners from Davis research station, who were scheduled to return home on the Aurora Australis after the summer season, will be transported via a US LC130 aircraft today (Saturday, 27 February) to Casey research station. The plane departed McMurdo station this morning and is enroute to Davis. The expeditioners will then be flown home on the Australian Antarctic Division’s A319 Airbus in the coming days.

The Aurora Australis broke its mooring lines during a blizzard on Wednesday (24 February) and became grounded on rocks on West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour.

 

Air option activated as Aurora Australis remains aground

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Aurora Australis slightly visible, aground at Mawson research station (Photo: Shane Ness)
Aurora Australis slightly visible, aground at Mawson research station (Photo: Shane Ness)

With the Aurora Australis still aground near Mawson research station, the Australian Antarctic Division is receiving assistance from the US Antarctic program to transport expeditioners who were waiting at Davis research station to return home aboard the icebreaker after the summer season.

A US LC130 aircraft will move more than 30 expeditioners from Davis research station to Casey research station, to be flown home on the Australian Antarctic Division’s A319 airbus. This is expected to occur in the coming days.

Sixty-eight (68) expeditioners and crew remain on board the Aurora Australis, which remains aground at West Arm in Horseshoe Harbour. All continue to be safe and well.

Current blizzard conditions are forecast to ease overnight (Thursday, 25 February). Expeditioners on the ship will be transferred to Mawson research station when the conditions ease.

Monitoring of the hull condition of the ship by the crew has revealed a breach in the hull into a space that is usually flooded with ballast water. This breach has occurred in an area of the ship that poses no risk to the stability of the vessel or of fuel leaking into the environment. The crew continue to monitor the hull.

Attempts to refloat the vessel will occur when the weather conditions ease. P&O Maritime has advised it will take a minimum of three days for the ship’s crew to complete a full assessment of the ship once the vessel is afloat again. Attempts to return the ship to service will follow the completion of this assessment.

The capacity of the ship to complete its original voyage remains unknown, however the Australian Antarctic Division has a range of contingency plans in development.

The Aurora Australis broke free of its mooring lines at 3:15pm AEDT yesterday (09:15am Mawson time, Wednesday, 24 February) during a blizzard.

The Australian Antarctic Division is working closely with P&O Maritime Services, owners of the Aurora Australis, to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew as a priority.

Further information will be released as it becomes available.

 

Princess Cruises Debuts New Livery Design on Majestic Princess

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Chinese New Year Marks ‘Float-Out’ Celebration as New China-Destined Ship Meets the Ocean for the First Time

SHANGHAI, Feb. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Princess Cruises announced today, on Chinese New Year, that Majestic Princess, the first cruise ship built and designed specifically for the China market, will also be the first ship in the fleet to debut an elegant new livery design featuring the company’s iconic logo. The new livery design will roll out fleetwide over the next few years.

Part of Carnival Corporation & plc, Princess Cruises has one of the most recognized brand logos in cruising; the design symbolizes the smooth and flowing gracefulness of ocean waves and represents the excitement and adventure of discovering the best the world has to offer on a Princess cruise vacation. The modern, sophisticated look is designed to reinforce the premium experience of Princess Cruises, recognized around the world as a destination leader.

“For nearly half a century our Princess logo has represented the adventure of luxury cruise travel around the globe,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Now our ships sail to more than 360 ports of call worldwide and will be instantly recognized from afar. As the very first cruise ship built for China, we take great pride that Majestic Princess is our first ship to proudly display our new livery design.”

Also today, Majestic Princess reached a significant construction milestone when the Princess Cruises vessel “floated out” in its building dock at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. The occasion was marked by a traditional ceremony as the ship met ocean water for the first time.

Following the Italian shipyard’s custom, the float out of a ship begins when a “madrina,” or godmother, cuts the cord that signals the flow of sea water into the ship’s building dock. Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations Keith Taylor and recently appointed Majestic Princess Captain Dino Sagani represented Princess Cruises at the ceremony. Captain Sagani’s mother, Graziella Sagani, served as the ship’s “madrina.”

From left to right) Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations Keith Taylor, Graziella Sagani (Captain Sagani's mother), who served as the ship's "madrina," Captain Dino Sagani, and Fincantieri Shipyard Director Mr Attilio Dapelo at the float-out ceremony for Majestic Princess. U.K. Carnival Plc Cruises Shanghai Representative
From left to right) Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations Keith Taylor, Graziella Sagani (Captain Sagani’s mother), who served as the ship’s “madrina,” Captain Dino Sagani, and Fincantieri Shipyard Director Mr Attilio Dapelo at the float-out ceremony for Majestic Princess. U.K. Carnival Plc Cruises Shanghai Representative

Majestic Princess will offer many of the same special features as Royal Princess and Regal Princess, which have been so well-received. These include a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship; an over-the-ocean SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; and a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light.

As the first cruise ship built and designed specifically for the China market, Majestic Princess will also feature a number of new venues and experiences created for that market, the details of which will be revealed in the coming months.

Majestic Princess will home-port in Shanghai and carry 3,560 guests.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Carnival Corporation to Build Four Cruise Ships as Part of Memo of Agreement with Fincantieri S.p.A.

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Four new ships, to be built for Costa Asia, P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises, will cater to growing cruise markets and enhance industry-leading fleet

World’s largest travel and leisure company has 17 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2020

MIAMI, Dec. 30, 2015 / — Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest travel and leisure company, today announced that it has signed a memo of agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A. to build four new cruise ships with final contracts expected to be executed in 2016. Two of the four new ships will be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one will be built each for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises. With the new agreement, Carnival Corporation has 17 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2016 and 2020.

The four new ships will be built by one of the world’s largest cruise ship building companies, Fincantieri, at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. The two new 135,500-ton ships for Costa Asia and one new ship for P&O Cruises Australia will carry 4,200 passengers.

Additionally, Princess Cruises’ new 143,700-ton ship will carry 3,560 passengers and will be its fourth “Royal Princess” class vessel, featuring the successful design platform used on Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess scheduled for delivery in 2017. Each of the four new ships will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve, and support the company’s overall goal of providing exceptional vacation experiences for its guests.

“We will deliver on our fleet enhancement plan with the construction of these four new, exciting ships that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “These ships will be great additions to our fleet that support our goal to exceed guest expectations and create great vacation memories for each guest onboard our ships. These strategic investments in new ships that wow our guests are an important part of our measured growth strategy, which includes replacing less efficient ships with newer, larger and more efficient vessels over a very specific period of time.”

“The signing of this agreement happens during a real and beyond all expectations boom of the cruise sector,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “This announcement confirms – once again – the effectiveness of our strategy: with these projects we ensure continuity and development for our company, and we also further strengthen our already consolidated partnership with the Carnival group.”

The new Costa Cruises Asia ships will prominently feature the brand’s “Italy’s finest” experience, with the new ship design serving to enhance the overall onboard immersion Italy’s unique style, hospitality, entertainment and culinary excellence. The new ship order will also strengthen Costa Asia’s leadership and position in the region, as well as its commitment and confidence to continuously develop Asia Pacific and China to be one of the leading cruise markets in the world. In the past nine years, Costa Asia has created a multitude of industry firsts and has been widely recognized as the industry leader in the region, including being named as the first-ever Asia Best Cruise Line in the Asia Cruise Awards this year.

The new P&O Cruises Australia ship will join the leading cruise line’s fleet that was recently expanded with the addition of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden in November 2015 and will reach six total with the introduction of Pacific Explorer in 2017 to meet growing demand for cruises in Australia. Australia is one of the top performing cruise markets in the world, with an average annual passenger growth rate of 20 percent over the past decade. The new 4,200-passenger ship will have the largest passenger capacity from the line, with the next largest ship, Pacific Explorer, carrying 2,250 passengers, and will continue the brand’s tradition of innovative ships that reflect modern Australia.

The new Princess Cruises ship will include the signature elements that have become synonymous with the Princess guest experience such as a soaring central atrium hub with multiple dining, entertainment and retail venues; Movies Under the Stars outdoor cinema experience, and 80 percent of all staterooms with balconies. The ship will also include some brand-new innovations to enhance the guest experience even further.

In March 2015 Carnival entered into a strategic partnership with Fincantieri under which these four ships have been developed. Specific features and amenities for the ships, along with deployment details, will be revealed in the coming months.

Boskalis and Kotug establish European harbour towage joint venture

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Papendrecht, 23 December 2015/ Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) and KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) have reached agreement on the merger of their European harbour towage operations. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties in late 2014 has now been formalized following a thorough process.

The combined operations will be transferred to a 50/50 joint venture bringing together the European harbour towage activities of SMIT, a Boskalis subsidiary, and KOTUG. The operations will continue under the name KOTUG SMIT Towage.

Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis:

“This joint venture is an important next step in the implementation of our harbour towage strategy aimed at concentrating and expanding our harbour towage services in regional partnerships. We have already generated substantial value and experience with this type of partnership at Smit Lamnalco, Keppel Smit Towage and SAAM SMIT Towage. By joining forces in northwestern Europe we will be able to provide even better and more efficient services to our clients.”

The scope of the joint venture will encompass the harbour towage operations of SMIT in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as the harbour towage operations of KOTUG in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The merger will create a leading provider of harbour towage services in northwestern Europe. The joint venture will serve 11 ports in four countries with a fleet of 65 tugboats. The total combined revenue is approximately EUR 150 million and benefits of the joint venture will include operational synergies.

The financial close will take place in the first quarter of 2016, followed by the operational integration. The financial close will free up around EUR 90 million in cash for Boskalis, primarily as a result of refinancing the operations.

Queen Mary’s New Year’s Eve Party Goes Global: One Ticket, Five Cities Around The World (Video)

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The Queen Mary will bid farewell to 2015 in style. Leave your passport at home; this New Year's Eve around-the-world-party only requires a ticket to the Queen Mary. Regally berthed in Long Beach harbor since 1967 she will again host an epic night of entertainment festivities and culinary adventures inspired by international destinations. (PRNewsFoto/Queen Mary)
The Queen Mary will bid farewell to 2015 in style. Leave your passport at home; this New Year’s Eve around-the-world-party only requires a ticket to the Queen Mary. Regally berthed in Long Beach harbor since 1967 she will again host an epic night of entertainment festivities and culinary adventures inspired by international destinations. (PRNewsFoto/Queen Mary)

LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Leave your passport at home; this New Year’s Eve around-the-world-party only requires a ticket to the Queen Mary. Regally berthed in Long Beach harbor since 1967 she will again host an epic night of entertainment festivities and culinary adventures inspired by international destinations; five hours of dining, dancing and toasting aboard three acres of floating maritime history, as New Orleans, Moscow, Beijing, Tokyo and Hollywood celebrate 2016 as only the Queen Mary can.

The Promenade Deck will evoke Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras, vibrating with the sounds of New Orleans Jazz spiced by Cajun cuisine and Hurricanes, the city’s famous rum-filled concoction raised high in the hands of bead-wearing revelers.  Trade the Hurricane toasts for Moscow Mules in the Royal Salon, transformed to Red Square and a Russian celebration with DJ Mickey O spinning Hip Hop backed by dazzling aerialists.  Good fortune and Chinese traditions await those on the Sports Deck where dragon dancers, lion dancers and a Kung Fu show will welcome the New Year, Beijing-style. Tokyo-bound guests will liberate their inner dancer on the Queen’s Verandah Deck turned ‘Tokyo at Night’ featuring a Hip Hop Dance Show and DJ Barbie’s Top 40 hits. Sushi, sakitinis and karaoke complete the Japanese adventure.

The international fete ends where it began, sipping champagne and dancing to the Hedge Hog Swing Band in the Grand Salon where Hollywood’s glamour lives forever within the ship’s Art Deco decor. An exclusive island destination VIP ticket invites a limited number of guests to spend the night in Lahaina, Hawaii and Havana, Cuba. The Queen Mary’s NYE party brings the best of New Year’s celebrations around the world to Long Beach.  “This year’s celebration takes on new meaning – as it becomes the first major event timed to the ship’s 80th Anniversary year. Offering global nighttime adventure and a glittering fireworks show the 2016 New Year’s Eve Party launches an important year for the Queen Mary and it all begins at midnight, December 31,” said Steve Sheldon, Director of Entertainment Events.

About the Queen Mary
Located in the Port of Long Beach, the Queen Mary features a rich maritime history, authentic Art Deco décor, and stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. At the time of her maiden voyage in 1936, she was considered the grandest ocean liner ever built. The Queen Mary features award-winning restaurants, historical attractions, numerous special event salons and 364 staterooms.

Saab Signs Annual Overhaul And Modification Contract For Corvettes

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Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with the Swedish Defence Material Administration for the regular, yearly overhaul and modification of the Swedish Navy’s two Stockholm-class corvettes. The order covers the period 2016-2017. Work on the corvettes will be undertaken in Karlskrona.

Saab will conduct the annual overhaul and modification programme for the Swedish Navy vessels HMS Stockholm and HMSMalmö . After modification, the ships will be classified as warships intended primarily for maritime surveillance. Both ships were built at the Karlskrona shipyard in the early 1980s and entered service in 1985. In 2002 the vessels went through a midlife upgrade.

“HMS Stockholm and HMS Malmö are fine examples of how a good basic design combines with planned maintenance and modifications to deliver low lifecycle costs and longer operational deployment,” says Gunnar Wieslander head of Saab’s business unit Saab Kockums.

The contract provides for the technical detail design and execution of the annual overhaul and modification programme.

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