NYK Cruises has signed a contract with Meyer Werft for the construction of a new LNG-powered cruise ship at Papenburg.
This is the first newbuilding cruise ship order since the beginning of the pandemic, Meyer Werft claimed.
The new vessel will be of 229 m in length and 29.8 m beam. Of 51,950 gt, she will be fitted with 385 passenger cabins for 744 pax and will have a crew of 470.
“It is another very important step towards securing the Papenburg site. New orders are absolutely necessary for our current programme for the future with enormously important savings and very many different measures,” said Jan Meyer, Meyer Werft Managing Director. “We have been able to win our new customer from Japan in this extremely difficult global market situation and worldwide competition with the best ship concept, innovations, quality and a very challenging price for us.
“My thanks go to the entire staff and especially to the Sales & Design department, which has done a great job in this tense phase. This is the first order in the shipyard’s 226-year history where all contract documents and plans were prepared and negotiated via video conferencing. The effort has paid off,” he said.
Imke Knoop, the shipyard’s Head of Sales & Design, added: “The pandemic allows shipping companies all over the world to freely choose shipyard locations. The challenge is to survive with our combination of design, quality, innovation and, of course, under ever-increasing price pressure in the face of worldwide, sometimes heavily subsidised, competition. The order has come just in time; so far only one new building has been in our halls for 2025.”
“Of course we are delighted about the newbuilding order, but at the same time we have to push ahead with our future programme, continue to convert and optimise the shipyard so that we can also deliver the ship with economic success,” explained Thomas Weigend, Meyer Werft Managing Director.
“Thanks to this order, we now also have a second ship in the works in 2025, namely a small and a large ship. But it remains the case that we still have a lot of work missing for the year 2025. Our production in Papenburg is designed for an annual construction volume of 420,000 gt, but the two ships in 2025 have a total volume of only 182,000 gt,” he said.
“The current newbuilding order is not a turnaround from our difficult situation. In Papenburg we are designed for the series production of very large cruise ships,” Meyer added. “Now we are building the prototype of a small ship without the option of sister ships. Therefore, it is to be classified as another step among many necessary measures. At the same time, it is also a positive signal: it is a completely new customer for Meyer Werft, we have asserted ourselves on a global market against global competition.”
The NYK newbuilding is scheduled for delivery in 2025. The shipyard will also install LNG propulsion. Meyer Werft said it is also implementing numerous customised solutions for this order. These include hydrodynamics optimised in accordance with the planned routes, as well as on board facilities adapted to the needs of Japanese passengers and, as a result of the pandemic, also offering innovations to the air-conditioning systems and contactless controls.
In February, Meyer Werft transferred the new cruise ship ‘Odyssey of the Seas’ via the River Ems to the North Sea. Despite the pandemic, eight ships were delivered from the Group’s shipyards in Papenburg, Rostock and Turku in the past 12 months.