Costa Cruises’ new 135,500gt Costa Venezia was floated out at Fincantieri’s Monfalcone yard in Italy on 22nd June. The ceremony, including the cutting of the ribbon and the breaking of the bottle, was performed by the float-out Godmother, Chiara Ustulin, an employee of the Monfalcone shipyard. The Costa Venezia will enter service in March 2019. The 5,224 passenger capacity Costa Smeralda will enter service in October 2019 from Hamburg and the ship will then offer Western Mediterranean itineraries until April 2020. A sister ship to the Costa Smeralda will be delivered from Turku in 2021.
Oceanwide Expeditions’ Polar Expedition Cruise Vessel, Hull 484 (to be name Honduis), was launched by Brodosplit, Croatia, on 9th June in Split. The cruise ship will be the world’s first such vessel of the LR PC6 class that will meet the latest Lloyd registry requirements for the Polar Class 6 vessels. The ship is 107.6m long with a 17.6m beam, a speed of 15 knots and will have two main engines with a total output of 4,260kW. Capacity will be for 196 passengers in 85 cabins plus 70 crew members. The shipyard has also entered into an agreement to construct a ground-breaking new polar expedition ship for Quark Expeditions, a member of the Travelopia group and the Leader in Polar Adventures. Built to Polar Class 6 standard, the ship is designed to be the most versatile expedition ship operating in the Polar Regions. The vessel, which will be built specifically for the high latitudes of the Arctic and Antarctica, will accommodate 200 passengers in 103 luxury cabins and will have116 crew members. The 128m long vessel will have a 21.5m beam, a speed of 16 knots and will be powered by four main engines with diesel-electric generator sets producing a total output of 4,400kW. The project is scheduled for completion in time for the 2020/2021 Antarctic sailing season.
Royal Caribbean Goes Shopping
On 14th June Royal Caribbean Ltd. and Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio announced an agreement for RCL to acquire a stake in privately owned Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with long-term visions for the cruise industry. Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean will acquire a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately $2 billion. The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion. RCL plans to finance the purchase through debt. In addition, Lefebvre will qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics. This new partnership gives Silversea, described as the “jewel in the crown” by RCL’s Richard Fane, the opportunity to accelerate the growth of this successful luxury and expedition cruising brand the world.
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