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​New hybrid powered cruise ship completes sea trials – Hurtigruten launches pre-inaugural voyages

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Hurtigruten’s new hybrid battery powered expedition cruise ship MS Fridtjof Nansen will be completed earlier than expected. As a result, Hurtigruten is adding a series of shorter pre-inaugural voyages.

MS Fridtjof Nansen is packed with green technology and large battery packs and is, alongside her sister ship MS Roald Amundsen, the world’s first battery-hybrid powered cruise ship.

The groundbreaking expedition cruise ship is set for delivery by the end of 2019, well ahead of her April 1st inaugural voyage from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast.

– Pre-inaugural voyages are normally offered to specially invited guests only. We want to share the special occasion and give more explorers the opportunity for a first-hand experience of the incredible MS Fridtjof Nansen and our unique expedition cruises, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Custom built as a small ship taking around 500 guests to some of the most spectacular waters of the planet, MS Fridtjof Nansen is currently in the final stages of outfitting on Norway’s Kleven Yard.

Over the past week, the ship has been undergoing sea trials off the west coast of Norway. With the Norwegian fjords as testing ground – and the famous Sunnmøre alps as a spectacular backdrop – the hybrid powered cruise ship’s advanced, green technology was put to a test. This included her battery packs.

– We are extremely satisfied with the results of the sea trials. In fact, she performed so well that we concluded the tests a full day early. Building on the experience we got from MS Roald Amundsen, we are confident in delivering one of the most advanced vessels in the world by end of the year. In cooperation with the Hurtigruten team, our employees, subcontractors and partners on Fosen Yards have all done a great job, Kleven CEO Kjetil Bollestad says.

In addition to the exclusive pre-inaugural voyages, MS Fridtjof Nansen’s maiden season includes a series of cruises from Hamburg to the Norwegian coast, before spending the summer of 2020 exploring Greenland and Iceland. The 2020/2021 winter season she will join her hybrid powered sister ship MS Roald Amundsen for Hurtigruten’s signature Antarctica cruises.

– We see great demand for our expedition cruises across all markets and all destinations. With their green technology and unprecedented focus on sustainable solutions, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Roald Amundsen are not only driving demand, they are driving change in the cruise industry, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

The introduction of the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships is the latest in a number of Hurtigruten green initiatives. Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning all single-use-plastics. In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG) – produced from organic waste such as dead fish.

MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Roald Amundsen are the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ships, equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology.

Built: 2019 Kleven Yards, Norway
Gross tonnage: 20.889
Length: 140 m
Width: 23,6 m
Draft: 5,5 m
Guests: 530 (500 in Antarctica)
Staterooms and suites: 265
Crew: 151
Cruising speed: 15 knots
Ice class: PC-6

On board facilities includes: A fully equipped Science Center, observation decks, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge, more than 50 % of cabins with private balconies.

Odfjell SE expands stainless steel chemical tanker pool in a new partnership with Navig8 Chemical Tankers Inc

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Odfjell SE announces today that the company has reached an agreement with Navig8 Chemical Tankers Inc (N8CTI, a N-OTC registered company), where the latter will add 4 modern 25,000 dwt stainless steel chemical tankers to Odfjell’s existing pool, the Chempool25. 

Following delivery of the vessels, the pool will total 19 vessels with Odfjell contributing with 10 vessels, CTG 5 vessels and N8CTI 4 vessels. Odfjell will continue to be the operator of all vessels in the pool.

“We are pleased to welcome N8CTI as a partner. N8CTI brings first-class vessels to the pool, and we look forward to the cooperation and to further develop our pool partnerships. With this expansion, Odfjell will operate one of the largest fleets of modern 25,000 dwt stainless steel chemical tankers in the world. This is another step in consolidating the chemical tanker industry, and it enables us to offer unparalleled flexibility and service to our customers,” said Kristian Mørch, CEO of Odfjell SE.

The 4 vessels are expected to enter the pool during 1Q2020. The Chempool25 fleet operates as part of Odfjell’s total commercial fleet of around 80 advanced chemical tankers, trading around the world.

Barrier-Breaking. History-Making. Celebrity Cruises To Set Sail With First-Ever All-Female Bridge And Officer Team

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MIAMI, Nov. 19, 2019 While progress has been made, the reality is that only 2% of the world’s mariners are women. But not at Celebrity Cruises. The modern luxury brand is leading the industry into a more diverse future with their bold initiatives to #BRIDGEthegap. Now, the brand that made headlines by hiring the first American female cruise ship captain, Kate McCue, and again by announcing that 22% of their bridge teams are made up of women, is now continuing with another historic milestone: the announcement of the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team.

This historic sailing will take place on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2020 – aboard the brand’s newest and award winning ship, Celebrity Edge. Captain McCue will be at the helm and will be accompanied by 26 other women to create an all-female bridge and officer leadership team, and Celebrity’s President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Over the last few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. None of this could have been possible without the leadership and shared vision of the extraordinary men and women I work with every day, led by Patrik Dahlgren and Brian Abel – who take this challenge to heart and have made it possible. We are fortunate to have many incredible, experienced and beyond-qualified women who have worked tirelessly to achieve these positions. And we also celebrate the many men who continue to support them and help champion having more women crew onboard.”

Senior Vice President of Global Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean Crusies Ltd. Patrik Dahlgren, who has spearheaded Celebrity’s bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo, added: “Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%. Now, we hope this all-time industry-high will continue to grow; we just need more women to raise their hands for careers at sea, especially in engineering.”

“Excitement does not even begin to describe how I’m feeling about working alongside these incredible, barrier-breaking women on Celebrity Edge for this truly historic sailing,” added Captain McCue. “I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organization – both on land and at sea. They’re proof that there’s power in diversity.”

The below all-women bridge and leadership team for this historic sailing of Celebrity Edge represents 17 different countries, including:

  • Captain Kate McCue – USA
  • Staff Captain Maria Gotor – Spain
  • Hotel Director Niina Hautaniemi – Finland
  • Guest Relations Director Julie Sherrington – United Kingdom
  • F&B Director Byliana Velikova – Bulgaria
  • Senior Doctor Jennifer Bernardo – Philippines
  • Cruise Director Sue Denning – United Kingdom
  • Safety Officer Ionela Burduja – Romania
  • Associate Hotel Director Milana Dortangs – Netherlands
  • Revenue and Marketing Director Sarah Guinot – France
  • HR Manager Angel George – USA
  • Financial Controller Teresa de Guzman – Philippines
  • Chief Housekeeper Lyudmyla Miroshnychenko – Ukraine
  • Safety Investigation Officer Alexandra Villarreal – USA
  • Environmental Officer Maria Karoutsou – Greece
  • Chief Security Officer Mor Segev – Israel
  • Chief Officer Maria Koliou – Greece
  • Chief Officer Maria Agius – Malta
  • Doctor Sumaya Guffar – South Africa
  • First Officer Rachel Arnold – United Kingdom
  • First Officer Despoina Tsairi – Greece
  • Third Engineer Anna Avgoustaki – Greece
  • Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who was the first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship when hired in 2017 – Cameroon
  • Second Officer Ioana Tzovara – Greece
  • Third Officer Esperanza Romero – Spain
  • Third Officer Cassandra May Mead – New Zealand
  • Apprentice Officer Gifty Adu Gyami – Ghana

As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, Celebrity is curating unique specialty programming, including evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists, celebrating the female form; collaborating on an exclusive design with luxury jewelry designer Reout Kallati; hosting special events, such as a cinema series featuring iconic and impactful female directors, leads and inspirational narratives; and other dedicated onboard programming, including Women of the World-themed trivia challengesFearless Female Officers vs. Guests Pool Volleyball tournament, and a Q&A panel with the ship’s inspiring female leadership team.

Additional specialty programming is still to be announced, including a moderated discussion panel with current confirmed special guests including artist and child prodigy Autumn de Forest and fashion designer Mary Francesunique networking opportunities and more, all with the goal of inspiring a new generation of young girls and women to continue pushing boundaries and breaking barriers. To learn more about the special International Women’s Day 2020 sailing and meet the leading ladies coming together on board, visit www.celebritycruises.com/about-us/celebrity-cares/international-womens-day.

Celebrity Edge, which debuted in late 2018, was brought to life by a team of visionary architects and designers and features an array of stunning industry-first innovations – such as the transformational Edge Stateroom with Infinite Veranda and Magic Carpet, the world’s first cantilevered platform that travels up to 16 decks alongside the ship. Celebrity Edge is currently finishing her first season sailing visiting the breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean, offering a range of seven- to 11-night sailings from iconic cities like Barcelona and Rome, and will be returning to the Caribbean later this month. Building on Celebrity Edge‘s incredible momentum, Celebrity Apex debuts in 2020, followed by two additional sister ships in 2021 and 2022.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises’ iconic “X” is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers’ precious time. Celebrity Cruises’ 13 ships offer modern luxury vacations visiting all seven continents. Celebrity also presents incredible Cruisetour experiences in Alaska and Canada. Celebrity is one of six cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL).

Stena Line takes delivery of Irish Sea-bound ferry at China shipyard

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Stena Estrid first of five next generation ferries to be delivered by Chinese shipyard

LEADING ferry company Stena Line has officially taken ownership of its newest ferry Stena Estrid following a handover ceremony at the AVIC Weihai Shipyard in north-western China.

The first of five next generation Stena Line RoPax vessels that are currently being constructed at the shipyard, Stena Estrid will now embark on a six-week journey to its new home on the Irish Sea, where it will begin service on the Dublin to Holyhead route in January 2020.

A further two of the new ferries are also destined for the Irish Sea with Stena Edda expected to commence operations from Belfast to Liverpool next spring, and a third vessel Stena Embla to be introduced on the same route in early 2021.

Stena Line owner Dan Sten Olsson attended a service officiated by the Reverend Stephen Miller of the Mission to Seafarers, who undertook the long held maritime tradition of blessing the ship, in order to bring it good luck at sea.

Following the signing ceremony, Stena Line’s Technical Operations Director Bjarne Koitrand and Stena Estrid’s Senior Master Matthew Lynch and crew officially took ownership of the vessel.

“Today has been six years in the planning,” said Bjarne Koitrand, “and we are delighted to finally take ownership of the first of our five new ships. With the new crew now in place, they can start the long journey to the Irish Sea, where Stena Estrid will make her new home serving customers between Dublin and Holyhead.”

Stena Line CEO Niclas Mårtensson said that the delivery of Stena Estrid marks the start of a very important few months for Stena Line’s Irish Sea operations:

“Taking ownership of Stena Estrid is a major milestone for Stena Line,” said Mr Mårtensson, “and is the result of a very significant investment in our Irish Sea operations that reflects our commitment to the region and will ultimately see three of the world’s most modern ferries operating between Ireland and Britain.

“A first-class customer experience is a priority for us, so we are determined to deliver the best possible freight and travel service to our customers.Stena Estrid will provide a more environmentally sustainable way to travel with more efficient loading and unloading operations, increased freight capacity and the best Scandinavian quality, style and design in our facilities, including the Hygge Lounge and the latest upgrade of our premium area Stena Plus,” he added.

Part of a multi-million-pound investment in the region, the new Stena Line ships will be amongst the most advanced vessels in operation and larger than today’s standard RoPax vessels (*details below).

At 215 metres in length, Stena Estrid will provide freight capacity of 3,100 lane meters, meaning a 50 per cent increase in freight tonnage, and the space to carry 120 cars and 1,000 passengers and crew.

The introduction in 2020/21 of sister ships Stena Edda and Stena Embla will increase freight capacity on the Belfast to Liverpool route by 20 per cent.

STENA ESTRID FAST-FACTS

The name Estrid is connected to Stena Line’s Scandinavian heritage. It is an Old Norse eastern-Nordic version of the name Astrid. Estrid is commonly found on old runestones and means ‘divinely beautiful’.

Builder AVIC Weihai Shipyard Co (Weihai, China)
Type Ro-Pax ship
Ferry route / homeports Dublin-Holyhead
Operator STENA LINE
Speed 22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA) 215 m / 705 ft
Beam (width) 28 m / 92 ft
Gross Tonnage 42,400 gt
Lane Metres 3,100
Passengers 1,000
Cars 120
Freight vehicles 210
Cabins 175

Stena Line is the largest ferry operator on the Irish Sea, offering the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Ireland and Britain including Dublin to Holyhead, Rosslare to Fishguard, Belfast to Cairnryan, and the Belfast to Liverpool and Heysham routes, a total of 232 weekly sailing options. Stena Line also offers a direct service from Rosslare to Cherbourg with three return crossings a week.

:OBITUARY: Royal Caribbean founder Edwin Stephan, 87, remembered as industry icon

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MIAMI, Nov. 9, 2019: It is with a profound sense of sadness that we mark the passing of Edwin W. Stephan, the founder, long time-president, and vice chairman of the board of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, on Friday, November 8. He was 87. We at Royal Caribbean mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to the Stephan family.

In 1969 Stephan founded the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and his contributions helped create the modern cruise industry we know today.  Under his leadership in 1970, the company launched Song of Norway, the first ship purpose-built for warm-water cruising. Since that initial voyage, Stephan’s fledgling company has grown into the world’s second largest cruise line, a multi-billion-dollar global company of six brands, operating 63 ships across seven continents.

During Stephan’s tenure, the company saw many industry firsts, including our wide, open-air decks, and it was Stephan’s idea for the round, cantilevered Viking Crown Lounge that made Royal ships stand out from the crowd. Royal Caribbean was also the first to stretch a major cruise ship by inserting an additional mid-section into Song of Norway in 1978.

“Ed was an inspiration and a great friend to many in the company.  He was an honorable man who loved his family, his work, and his community,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.  “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ed’s loving wife, Helen, and the children he adored, Michael, Samantha, Gary, and Kristina.  He will be deeply missed by all of us here, by his many friends, and by our community.”

Norway’s Ugland says nine crew kidnapped by pirates from vessel off Benin

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A vessel owned by Norwegian shipping firm J.J. Ugland was boarded by pirates while at anchor off the coast of Benin on Saturday, and nine crew members were kidnapped, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“Our bulk vessel MV Bonita was boarded by pirates very early Saturday morning off Cotonou/Benin while she was at anchor.

9 crew members were taken off the vessel while she was waiting for berth to discharge inbound cargo, gypsum.

Remaining crew notified local authorities and Bonita arrived alongside in Cotonou later same day.

The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.  

The families of the crewmembers have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland.

In the interest of the wellbeing of the crewmembers Ugland will not make any further comments regarding the situation.”

Seattle-based U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker returns home following 3-month, 14,000 nautical-mile Arctic deployment

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SEATTLE — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (WAGB 20) returned home Saturday to Seattle following a three-month deployment to the Arctic in support of Coast Guard operations and multiple scientific research missions sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Office of Naval Research.

Healy is the nation’s premiere high-latitude research vessel and is one of the only U.S. military surface vessels that operates in the ice-covered waters of the Arctic. Homeported in Seattle with a permanent crew of 87, Healy is the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest cutter at 420-feet and a displacement of over 16,000 tons.

“During our deployment, we successfully transited 14,000 nautical miles and spent 50 cumulative days above the Arctic Circle, reaching as far north as 81 degrees north latitude,” said Capt. MaryEllen Durley, Healy’s commanding officer. “As the Coast Guard’s sole Arctic icebreaker, we forged new relationships, trained new Arctic sailors, and conducted high latitude research that will help forecast the impact of seasonal ice formation critical to maintaining the Arctic maritime domain.”

As the Nation’s primary maritime presence in the Polar Regions, the Coast Guard advances U.S. national interests through a unique blend of polar operational capability, regulatory authority, and international leadership across the full spectrum of maritime governance.

Earlier this year the Coast Guard released the Arctic Strategic Outlook, reaffirming the service’s commitment to American leadership in the region through partnership, unity of effort, and continuous innovation.

“While we focus our efforts on creating a peaceful and collaborative environment in the Arctic, we’re also responding to the impacts of increased competition in this strategically important region,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard. “Our continued presence will enable us to reinforce positive opportunities and mitigate negative consequences today and tomorrow.”

The Coast Guard has been a leader in the Arctic for over 150 years and the sole provider of the nation’s polar icebreaking capability since 1965. Presently, the Coast Guard maintains two icebreakers – the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, a medium icebreaker, and the Polar Star, the United States’ only heavy icebreaker.

While the Healy deploys annually to the Arctic, the 43-year-old Polar Star is the only cutter capable of supporting Operation Deep Freeze, the annual mission to maintain U.S. presence in Antarctica.

If a catastrophic event, such as a shipboard fire or getting stuck in the ice, were to strand the Healy in the Arctic or the Polar Star near Antarctica, the U.S. Coast Guard is left without a self-rescue capability.

By contrast, Russia currently operates more than 50 icebreakers – several of which are nuclear powered.

The Coast Guard is seeking to increase its icebreaking fleet with six new polar security cutters to ensure continued national presence and access to the Polar Regions.

In April, the Coast Guard awarded VT Halter Marine Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a contract for the design and construction of the Coast Guard’s lead polar security cutter, which will be homeported in Seattle. The contract also includes options for the construction of two additional PSCs.

“The polar security cutters will support the full range of Coast Guard missions, to include search and rescue, law enforcement, environmental response, and national defense,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area commander. “This investment will enable America to project presence in the Polar Regions.”

AGREEMENT ON NEW AMSTERDAM-NEWCASTLE FERRIES CANCELLED

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On 6 September 2019, DFDS entered into an agreement with the Italian ferry company Moby to acquire two ferries, Moby Wonder and Moby Aki, for deployment on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route.

Moby would in turn acquire the two passenger ferries currently operating on Amsterdam-Newcastle, King Seaways and Princess Seaways.

The agreement was expected to be completed in the second half of October 2019 but Moby has unfortunately not been able to meet the delivery terms of the agreement. The agreement has therefore been cancelled.

DFDS will continue to explore solutions for a renewal of the ferries on the Amsterdam-Newcastle route in line with the fourth pillar of the WIN23 strategy: Creating more value for passengers.

Revised outlook 2019
The full-year outlook for Special items is decreased to DKK -30m from previously DKK 70m as the latter included an expected accounting profit of around DKK 100m from the sale of two ferries.

The investment outlook for 2019 is reduced to around DKK 2.8bn from previously DKK 3.4bn as the investment in the renewal, net of proceeds from the sale of two ferries, was expected to amount to around DKK 1.0bn of which DKK 650m was expected to be paid in 2019. The remaining DKK 350m was expected to be paid in 2020.

Total’s First LNG Bunker Vessel Launched

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Paris, October 18, 2019 – Total announces that its first large liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel has been launched, following the signature of a long-term charter contract between Total and Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) in February 2018.

After delivery in 2020, the bunker vessel will operate in Northern Europe, where it will supply LNG to commercial vessels, including 300,000 tons per year for CMA CGM’s nine ultra-large newbuild containerships in Europe-Asia trade, for a period of at least 10 years.

The LNG bunker vessel’s construction is in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decision to drastically limit the sulfur content of marine fuels as of 2020. In this context, the transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG is a competitive, efficient and immediately available solution for maritime transportation.

Used as a marine fuel, LNG sharply reduces emissions from ships, resulting in a significant improvement in air quality, particularly for communities in coastal areas and port cities. LNG helps to cut:

  • Sulfur emissions by 99%,
  • Fine particle emissions by 99%,
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%,
  • Greenhouse gases emissions by around 20%.

“Developing infrastructure like this giant bunker vessel is essential to allow LNG to become a widely used marine fuel,” said Momar Nguer, President for Total Marketing & Services. “This first ship demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers both more environmentally friendly fuels and the associated logistics. Thanks to this pioneering investment, Total is making a positive contribution to the sustainable evolution of global shipping.”

Built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding at their shipyard near Shanghai, the bunker vessel is fitted with innovative tank technologies, with a capacity of 18,600 cubic meters, provided by the French company GTT. Designed to be highly maneuverable, the 135-meter-long vessel will be able to operate safely in the ports and terminals considered. Lastly, she meets the highest environmental standards thanks to the use of LNG as fuel and complete reliquefaction of boil-off gas.

Total, Second-Largest Private Global LNG Player:

Total is the second-largest private global LNG player, with an overall portfolio of around 40 million tons per year by 2020 and a global market share of 10%. With 22 million tons of LNG sold in 2018, the Group has solid, diversified positions across the LNG value chain. Through its stakes in liquefaction plants in Qatar, Nigeria, Russia, Norway, Oman, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Australia and Angola, Total sells LNG in markets worldwide.

Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions:

Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions is Total’s dedicated business unit in charge of worldwide bunkering activities. Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions is the single point of contact for a full spectrum of solutions with innovative and efficient bunkering services.
www.marinefuels.total.com.

Countdown to New Cunard Ship Begins as First Steel is Cut

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Build starts today at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard on Cunard’s 249th ship

First piece of steel cut will be used to create a stunning sculpture that will be displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy

London, 11 October, 2019 – Cunard and Fincantieri today celebrated the start of construction on the 249th ship of the luxury cruise line, marking an exciting moment in the company’s 179-year history.

The yet unnamed ship, which is being built to meet the growing global demand in luxury cruising, is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities.

The first section of the ship is under construction at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia ship yard. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s popular and world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

The steel cutting ceremony is a keystone-event in the life of Cunard’s new ship, marking the commencement of building works that will culminate in its delivery in Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, in 2022.

Of the occasion, Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard said, “After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship. The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century. The new ship is taking inspiration from the successes of our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”

Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Castellammare Shipyard Director, Fincantieri added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”

Cunard used the auspicious occasion to announce the commissioning of a unique sculpture, masterly crafted from the first piece of metal cut for the new ship. Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will complete the work, which will be displayed on board the ship for Cunard’s guests to enjoy. Shendi is an Egyptian-born, British sculptor and uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.

Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”

With construction underway, the new ship’s interior designers will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a one of a kind on board experience. Led by globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany, the award winning design team includes Simon Rawlings (David Collins Studio), Terry McGillicuddy (Richmond International) and Sybille de Margerie (Sybille de Margerie Paris). Each brings experience from various world-class international hotels and resorts with the aim of delivering a new standard of Cunard luxury.

Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings commencing next year.

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