Fincantieri completes $4 billion order from Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Prima is the first of six next-generation cruise ships that Fincantieri has designed and built for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

Posted on May 3, 2022 at 8:39 p.m. by

The Maritime Executive

Rumor has it that Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is set to land the first major order to build cruise ships since the pandemic began more than two years ago. Italian newspaper Il Secolo XIX first reported this weekend that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the parent company of three North American cruise brands, was finalizing a deal with Fincantieri.

Details of the order are not known, but speculation confirmed by Reuters indicates that the cruise holding company will order up to six ships worth $4 billion. It’s unclear whether the order would be entirely for larger cruise ships to be used by the company’s contemporary segment brand, Norwegian Cruise Line, or whether the order could be shared with one or both of the company’s luxury brands. cruise company. All three brands are currently building ships at Fincantieri, while NCLH has made no secret of its desire to add more ships to its ultra-luxury Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand. Regent is currently building a 55,500 gross ton cruise ship that can accommodate 750 passengers, Grandeur of the Seven Seasat Fincantieri whose delivery is scheduled for 2023. Unlike the other two brands, Regent is the only one not to have additional liners on order.

The relationship between Norwegian and Fincantieri dates back more than a decade when the Italian shipyard built two luxury cruise ships for the Oceania Cruise brand. Prior to that, Norwegian built its large cruise ships at Meyer Werft in Germany, a relationship that dates back to the early 2000s when Norwegian was owned by Star Cruises of Genting Hong Kong and began building its modern operation based on ships from Meyer Werft.

Oceania was pleased with the two Fincantieri-built cruise ships of 66,000 gross tons introduced in 2011 and 2012 as Marina and French Riviera, which leads to an expansion of the relationship. Regent eventually builds three ultra-luxury cruise ships with Fincantieri starting with the Explorer of the Seven Seas in 2016 and the Splendor of the Seven Seas introduced in February 2020 weeks before the industry paused due to the pandemic.

Fincantieri’s biggest win, however, came in 2017 when they lured Norwegian Cruise Line away from Meyer with a new concept called Project Leonardo for a 3,300 passenger, 142,500 gross ton cruise ship. Norwegian initially ordered four sister ships and in August 2018 expanded the order by exercising an option for two additional sister ships.

The first of the new concept ships, norwegian prima is currently completing its construction in Italy. Norwegian announced in late April that the ship was behind schedule due to supply chain issues during the final fitting out of the ship. Due to enter service in August 2022, Norwegian has canceled preview voyages for commerce and has now delayed the ship’s maiden voyage until September 2022. The second ship in the class Viva Norwegian is due to enter service in June 2023 and the four additional vessels are to be completed by 2027.

If Fincantieri is successful in winning the new NCLH order, it would be the first major cruise ship order in more than two and a half years. While the shipbuilding industry has managed to retain all major cruise ship orders during the pandemic, none of the lines have yet moved forward with future build plans, although Royal Caribbean Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have expressed interest in continuing with additional orders. NCLH is due to provide a financial update for the first quarter of 2023 on May 10.

The order is also considered the latest achievement of longtime Fincantieri CEO Giuseppe Bono. The 78-year-old executive who has led the shipbuilder’s turnaround over the past 20 years is set to retire after the May 16 shareholders’ meeting. A newly named executive, state-appointed Pierroberto Folgiero, must be approved by shareholders as the company’s next CEO.

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