It was reported in November 2016 that the Croatian shipbuilder Brodosplit was to build a new polar expedition vessel for Oceanwide Expeditions. The provisional name has been announced as Hondius.
The vessel will be built to LR PC6 standards and is designed to carry 196 passengers in luxury cabins and suites. It will be 108 metres long, with two engines delivering 4,200kW and a cruising speed of 15 knots. Delivery is expected in 2019.
Viking Line Abp (Finnish Ferries, not the riverboats) have ordered a large new cruise ferry from China. They signed a letter of intent with Xiamen Shipbuilding on 23rd November 2016, for delivery in the Spring of 2020. The final agreement is expected to be signed in Spring 2017, and will include an option for a second vessel.
The vessel will be 218 metres long, with 63,000grt. It will operate on the Turku, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden route, via the Åland Islands, and will carry 2,800 passengers. The intention is for the vessel to run on LNG (liquefied natural gas), and it will be designed to have maximum energy-efficiency with minimal impact on the environment.
Rumour has it that the Chinese yard will receive just enough money to cover material costs. Labour costs and overhead will not be covered, let alone provide a profit, so the yard will lose money from day one. Xiamen Shipbuilding is state-owned, and China is able to offer export credits with extremely long maturities and very low interest rates. Chinese financing instutions are also buying market share with very competitive ship financing.
On 21st November 2016 STX France cut the first pieces of steel for Celebrity’s new build, planned for delivery in 2018, and to be called Celebrity Edge. This will be the first of four vessels in this class. Each is 117,000 tons and will carry 2,900 passengers.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity’s President and CEO, announced: “We will reveal more details soon and travellers and trade partners will not be disappointed – this ship will be amazing”.
The company is expecting delivery in Autumn 2018, with the second vessel in the class to be delivered in Spring 2020.