Numerous measures were taken by German cruise shipbuilder Meyer Werft early on to maintain the economic stability and the safety of workers, in the light of the pandemic, the company said.
These included an investment freeze, a comprehensive savings package, the reduction of temporary employees and the introduction of short-time working, as well as significantly fewer employees from suppliers.
These initiatives initially created a little planning security to last until the end of June 2021, the company said.
At the same time, intensive negotiations were held with the shipping companies to stretch the vessel construction timeline. This has thus far prevented the cancellation of orders or forced redundancies.
Despite the adverse circumstances, Meyer Werft succeeded in delivering two ships this year. In September and October, 2020, respectively, the newbuildings ‘Iona’ for P&O Cruises and the ‘Spirit of Adventure’ for Saga Cruises were delivered. Further large-scale projects will be implemented in the coming years.
Meyer Werft will also deliver two cruise ships this year, one of which, the ‘Odyssey of the Seas’ (pictured) for Royal Caribbean International, is already berthed at the fitting-out quay having been floated out of the giant building shed.
“Our stretched orderbook allows us to position ourselves for the future. We need to take advantage of this opportunity. Last year, our entire team, together with our many partners, has again shown the motivation with which we realise our projects despite all the challenges,” explained Thomas Weigend, Meyer Werft’s Managing Director.
Despite the austerity packages, the shipyard claimed to be setting the course for the future following the Corona pandemic. With the new logistics centre, material transport will be better co-ordinated and costs for other storage areas will be reduced.
Meyer Werft is also working on new solutions to further expand its technological leadership in cruise ships. For example, intensive research is being carried out on fuel cell technology and other technical innovations on passenger ships to pave the way for emission-free cruise ships, the company said.
The year 2020 got off to a promising start, as on 28th January, last year the company was able to look back on its 225th anniversary. The orderbook was almost full and more orders from 2024 onwards were in the pipeline. Then the COVID-19 crisis struck, which continues to hit the cruise industry particularly hard today.