Cruise Yachts Near Completition

Friday, February 14, 2003
Austal Ships has reported that a pair of cruise yachts ordered by Bora Bora Cruises of Tahiti are in the final stages of fitout at its modern shipyard south of Perth, Western Australia. “Tu Moana” and “Tia Moana” (meaning ‘strong on the ocean’ and ‘sure and stable on the ocean’) each provide 74 passenger berths in 37 outside cabins. The two cruise yachts will feature a high degree of comfort and luxury with a modern design inspired by Tahitian traditional art and incorporating the European touch of Tillberg Designs. Onboard features include a restaurant and galley catering for all passengers in a single sitting, gymnasium, library, indoor and outdoor lounges, two jacuzzis, an expansive sun deck and a host of watersports equipment, with easy access to the water. The 69 metre monohulls were launched prior to Christmas and will shortly undergo final sea trials before leaving Western Australia in late March or early April in time to commence operations in mid-June. They will operate seven-day/six night programmes from Bora Bora, with extended cruising within the lagoons of Leeward sister islands of Tahaa, Raiatea and Huahine. Austal developed the term Cruise Yachts to reflect the balance these smaller vessels provide between the most desirable characteristics of a private motor yacht and the requirements of commercial cruise operations. “Austal Cruise Yachts combine an intimate onboard experience with the ability to visit spectacular locations, like Bora Bora’s huge but relatively shallow lagoon, that are inaccessible to traditional ships,” said Austal Sales Manager, Glenn Williams. “Austal’s specialty lies in tailoring the design and fitout to meet the intended role, so we can produce Cruise Yachts that will match virtually any combination of passenger demographics and operational requirements,” he added. Austal’s Managing Director, Mr Bob McKinnon, said the ability to produce Cruise Yachts highlighted one of the benefits provided by the synthesis of the expertise of the Austal group’s various subsidiaries.

“In designing and building cruise yachts Austal Ships can draw upon Image Marine’s experience in building commercial live-aboard dive vessels and the styling and high level fitout and finish expertise that Oceanfast has demonstrated in luxury motor yachts such as the 70 metre “Aussie Rules” delivered to golfer Greg Norman last month,” Mr McKinnon said. “Combining this with the skills that have established Austal Ships as a world leader in the fast ferry market, ensures that we can provide the full spectrum of fitouts, from basic but comfortable for operators targeting the budget conscious passenger through to 5 star for the ultra-luxury segment.” In addition to completing the two cruise yachts for Bora Bora Cruises, Austal Ships is currently building 66 metre and 86 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamaran ferries. Under construction at Image Marine are four 41 metre catamarans (two for Norway and two for Hong Kong) and three 22 metre monohull Coast Guard vessels for Kuwait. Oceanfast’s orderbook consists of four luxury motoryachts, while US-subsidiary Austal USA has two passenger vessels under construction for New York – a 41 metre monohull and a 43 metre catamaran.

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