STX Finland Oy and Viking Line ABP have signed a preliminary agreement for the construction of a new generation cruise ferry for Viking Line. The agreement includes an option for a sister ship. The ship price will be about 240 million Euros, and will be built at Turku shipyard for delivery in the beginning of 2013.
The new cruise ferry will be designed to be the most environmentally friendly big passenger vessel to date. Even though it has not yet been decided the goal is to use LNG as the fuel. The ship has no marine emissions and its aerial emissions are extremely low. The ship has been specially designed to operate in the delicate and shallow-water archipelago environment. The wave forming and noise generation have been minimized. The President of STX Finland Oy, Juha Heikinheimo said, "I'm extremely delighted with this project and the continuation of cooperation with Viking Line. When the ship is completed, it will be highly innovative and the most environmentally friendly cruise ferry in the world. Special attention has been given on ensuring that the ship creates pleasant passenger experiences."
Representing approximately 2600 man-years employment, the currently signed preliminary agreement is highly important both to the Turku shipyard of STX Finland and to the entire Finnish shipbuilding cluster, as we sail away from the lull caused by the global financial crisis. "Actively operating shipyard is also much more competitive partner than an empty one when we are competing on new cruise ship projects", Heikinheimo says.
The design of the new ship will start immediately at Turku shipyard, and the actual building of the ship starts during fall 2011. Throughout the design and building of this cruise ferry the shipyard will continue to improve efficiency in production in order to increase productivity by industrializing operations even further.
The cruise ferry is about 210m in length with a gross tonnage of 57,000. The ship, which has a top speed of close to 23 knots, is planned to hold 2800 passengers and will be operated by a 200-member crew. The vessel, which is full of innovative and new solutions, has 870 passenger cabins. It has almost 1300 lane-m for trucks and a separate car deck with approximately 500 lane-m for passenger cars. Additional room for passenger cars can be found on the hoistable car decks. The cruise ferry will operate on a route between Turku and Stockholm.