Last updated: 01:34 PM ET, Tue July 12 2016

Cruise Shipbuilding is Booming Like Never Before

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Crystal Cruises | Jason Leppert | July 12, 2016

Cruise Shipbuilding is Booming Like Never Before

 Photo courtesy of Meyer Werft 

This week has seen new developments in cruise shipbuilding, and, besides one possible exception, the booming trend is expected to continue long into the future. Demand for cruising is high. New cruise ships can’t launch fast enough to accompany all of it, but international shipyards are trying hard to deliver.

Genting Hong Kong, the parent company of Crystal Cruises, has now consolidated its recently purchased trio of shipyards, formerly Nordic Yards, under one new name — MV Werften (MV abbreviating the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Werften being the plural form of Werft). Plus, just today, Holland America Line has announced initial construction on its upcoming Nieuw Statendam, with the ship’s first steel cutting at the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo, Sicily, Italy.

 READ MORE: Crystal Cruises’ Parent Genting Buys Three Shipyards, Creates Lloyd Werft Group 

Both MV Werften and Fincantieri represent several shipyards in Germany and Italy respectively, leaving Lloyd Werft, also owned by Genting, in Germany; Meyer Turku in Finland and Meyer Werft in Germany; STX France in Saint-Nazaire and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan as the remaining major players in cruise shipbuilding. However, Mitsubishi only has one more cruise ship currently on its schedule — the sister ship to the AIDAprima, which just launched in April after construction delays — and the yard is now, in fact, reconsidering its future in the cruise industry due to supply constraints and said delays.

AIDA Cruises ships to be built are returning to Meyer where they were assembled previously, notable now that its Meyer Turku facility can construct larger ships than the Meyer Werft yard, which is located inland upriver in Papenburg, Germany, where it is currently maxing out with Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum-class ships. By comparison, Meyer Turku was once the STX Europe yard that built the bigger Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas. Between its two yards, Meyer has over a dozen ships on the delivery calendar through 2023 including ones for Costa Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Dream Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Saga Cruises.

 READ MORE: Carnival Moves Ahead on China Shipbuilding 

Meanwhile, STX France, which just launched the largest cruise ship in the world — Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas — also has at least a dozen ships on order, including two additional sisters to Harmony and ones also for Celebrity Cruises and MSC Cruises.

Comparatively, Fincantieri has closer to a whopping two dozen ships on the books. Holland America’s Nieuw Statendam will be the company’s sixteenth cruise ship built for the line, which is also building cruise ships for several other Carnival Corporation lines as well as MSC Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Viking Ocean Cruises and newly announced Virgin Cruises.

Lloyd Werft and MV Werften are almost exclusively in the business of building Star Cruises ships and Crystal Cruises’ newest vessels. Collectively, they will deliver riverboats, cruise ships and mega-yachts for the brands.

Farther into the future additional cruise shipyards are expected to spring up in Asia, particularly in China.


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