Construction continues at a steady pace for the new cruise ships as the industry struggles to recover and manage operations in the face of the ongoing pandemic. After maintaining order books, major shipbuilders proceed to deliver new ships to cruise lines, including new ships this week for Carnival Corporation’s German cruise brand AIDA and premier expedition cruise ship for Viking Cruises. Fincantieri has also undertaken sea trials as part of the delivery of another new cruise ship to Princess Cruises of Carnival Corporation.
Fincantieri’s VARD shipyard in Søviknes, Norway hosted the delivery ceremony for Viking’s newest cruise ship, the first of two built for the company’s entry into expedition cruises. Founded in 1997 and operating river cruises, Viking expanded to ocean cruising in 2015 and will launch its expeditions in 2022, followed by the Mississippi cruise in August 2022.
the Viking octantis is a 30,150 gross ton vessel built by Vard specifically designed to operate in the shipping market. She will make her Antarctic debut in January 2022 and in the spring and summer of 2022 will become the first large modern cruise ship to sail the Great Lakes. A second identical twin ship, Viking Polaris, joined the fleet in August 2022 for trips to the Arctic and Antarctic.
“Today is a proud day for the entire Viking family as we welcome our first expedition vessel to the fleet and usher in a new era of exploration. Our guests have asked us to leverage our award-winning river and ocean trips to take them further, and that’s exactly what we have done, ”said Torstein Hagen, President of Viking. “By leveraging our long history of destination-oriented travel, enrichment and innovative ship design, we are now perfecting expedition travel and offering curious travelers the opportunity to visit the world’s most pristine destinations. in the most responsible way possible. “
The new polar class Viking octantis and Viking Polaris each can accommodate 378 passengers in 189 cabins. An integrated bow creates a longer waterline for vessels and the U-shaped tank stabilizers dramatically reduce body roll by up to 50% when vessels are stationary with fin stabilizers. The ships are also fitted with engines with heat recovery systems and Azipod electric propulsion for silent propulsion of ships, thus minimizing underwater noise pollution.
For the expedition market, the hulls are reinforced against ice and the ships have special features, including a closed marina inside the ship for embarking and disembarking excursion boats, an on-board laboratory and equipment for the expedition. expedition, including a fleet of pro military zodiacs designed for professional use, a fleet of two-seat Arctic-tested kayaks, two 12-seat convertible special operations boats and two six-passenger submarines.
AIDAcosma was delivered on December 21, 2021 (Meyer Werft)
On December 21, 2021, AIDA Cruises also took delivery of its brand new cruise ship, the AIDAcosma in Bremerhaven from the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. This is the company’s second new building to run on liquefied natural gas. AIDA will first introduce the ship from Hamburg starting in February, followed by Mediterranean cruises through the fall, and then reposition the cruise ship to Dubai.
the AIDAcosma marked the fourth cruise ship Meyer Werft in Germany has completed since the start of the pandemic. It was also the second Meyer cruise ship delivered between Papenburg and Turku, Finland, to Carnival Corporation in less than three weeks. Meyer noted that its order book includes eight cruise ships for international customers through 2025, with the delivery of two more large ships, the Disney wish for Disney Cruise Line and the Arvia for P&O Cruises, scheduled for 2022.
Discovery Princess recently made its first sea trials (Princess Cruises)
In Italy, Fincantieri also recently completed sea trials for the Princess discovery. The cruise ship left the Monfalcone construction dock and underwent a series of tests to test the steering, navigation equipment and propulsion. After five days of successful testing, the Discovery Princess is now back at the shipyard for other exterior and interior finishes to prepare for her first flight, a seven-day cruise to Mexico departing from the Port of Los Angeles. on March 27, 2022. The 3,660 passengers Princess discovery is the sixth and final new Royale class build made by Fincantieri for Princess Cruises. The same platform has also been adapted for cruising for UK P&O Cruises.
Despite the pandemic’s impact on the cruise industry, more than 70 cruise ships remain on order with deliveries scheduled until 2027. The new ships will add more than 150,000 berths to the industry. Orders for new cruise ships, however, have largely ended with the pandemic with only a few ships ordered in the past two years.