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Cruise Ship Segment Once Again Recipient Of Good News, Orders

In the eyes of many insiders cruise ship owner/ operators were over-optimistic in ordering several new ships at the beginning of 1993. The impressive run of orders gave business to Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani, Kvaerner Masa-Yards, and Meyerwerft, and included an order for the largest cruise ship ever, the 95,000-gt Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) vessel being built at Fincantieri. To the chagrin of number crunchers and delight of cruise ship builders, suppliers and owner/ operators, a mini-ordering spree has started again. And there has been a rumbling of legislation in the U.S., a bill in its infancy (at press time, it was being redrafted) which aims to help U.S. shipyards get in on the cruise ship building action.

RECENT ORDERS At the end of 1993, shipbuilders Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Chantiers de l'Atlantique received early Christmas presents in the form of cruise ship orders.

Kvaerner Masa-Yards received orders for three ships (one is an option), with a total value of $871 million. Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. (CCL) signed a letter of intent for the sixth M/S Fantasy class cruise liner. To be built at Kvaerner Masa- Yards'Helsinki New Shipyard and delivered in the beginning of 1996, the value of the order is for $270 million. The shipyard has already built three 70,000-gt vessels for the CCL fleet—the Fantasy, Ecstasy and Sensation—and is currently building the Fascination and Imagination.

"The consumer acceptance of Fantasy, Ecstasy and Sensation consistently went beyond our expectations with the introduction of each new ship," said CCL president Bob Dickinson, in a prepared statement. "It has provided a clear indication that there is a need for additional tonnage and passenger demand to support it." In addition, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) signed a letter of intent for two (approx.) 73,000-gt cruise liners (the second vessel is an option).

The order is for approximately $610 million, bringing the Kvaerner Masa-Yard take for the three ships nearly $900 million. The first RCCL ship is scheduled for delivery in late 1996; the second is scheduled for September 1997. RCCL already has contracted with Chantiers de l'Atlantique to build a pair of 1,800-passenger ships for delivery in April 1995 and March 1996 under the working project name Project Vision. RCCL recently confirmed the order for the second 1,800-passenger vessel with Chantiers de l'Atlantique.

The two additional ships, coupled with the two vessels already on order, would increase Royal Caribbean's capacity by as much as 53 New cruise ship orders seem to ensure passenger terminals v\ be kept busy for years to come. (Credit: Photo courtesy Moran Town F.J. Duffy) percent, giving the line a fleetwide total of up t 21,728 lower berths double occupancy.

"The commitment to build these additions ships is a reflection of our belief in the health c the cruise industry, and the strength of Roya Caribbean's position within that industry," sai< Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of Roya Caribbean.




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