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Mediterranean cruise shipbuilding and repair industries establish reputations as global leaders

March 5, 2018 Cruise No Comments Email Email

As the global cruise shipbuilding orderbook continues to grow – currently valued at $58.9bn with 94 confirmed newbuilds for delivery by 2025 – the industry remains buoyant, especially across the Mediterranean.

Encompassing shipyards stretching across the basin and into its adjoining seas, the region boasts some of the most prominent expertise and skill in these sectors.

Ahead of this year’s Seatrade Cruise Med – which takes place in Lisbon, Portugal from 19-20 September 2018 – Chairman of Seatrade, Chris Hayman, commented: “The passenger shipbuilding sector is currently undergoing a remarkable period of expansion across the Mediterranean. As demand for cruise tourism continues to rise, so do the opportunities for regional shipyards – with local yards accounting for just under a third of all refits in 2017.”

Italy’s Fincantieri currently claims 37 of the 94 ships on order. Take into account its impending take-over of STX France, the Italian shipbuilding group’s portfolio is set to account for over 50% of the market share; a powerful message to the world on its position as a global leader in cruise ship construction.

Many yards in the Mediterranean are now looking to get a foothold in the lucrative business of passenger-ship construction; particularly to support the demand for smaller expedition and luxury vessels. Portugal’s WestSea Viana Shipyard is currently building the 9,300gt World Explorer for Mystic Cruises; a recent entrant to the expedition sector. Measuring 126mtr, the vessel is the work of Italian naval architect Giuseppe Tringali and will feature a specially-designed energy-efficient hybrid propulsion system, as supplied by Rolls Royce.

Spain’s Astillero Hijos de J. Barreras (HJB) has won the order for Ritz Carlton’s first newbuild – which will consequently launch both a new shipyard and brand into the cruise sector. Labelled a ‘cruise yacht’, the 190mtr vessel is expected to facilitate capacity for 289 passengers and is due for delivery in 2019; with the potential for two additional deliveries in 2021 and 2022 from HJB. The yard has put its name to 1,600 vessels over the course of 125 years and has intentions to continue its work within passenger shipbuilding.

In neighbouring Portugal, Lisnave has also broadened its activity within the cruise sector; having repaired 15% more ships during the first nine months of 2017 than it had over the same period in 2016. Lisnave, along with West Sea – Estaleiros Navais, Lda, NavalRocha S.A and Arsenal do Alfeite, SA has confirmed it will exhibit at industry trade show Seatrade Cruise Med; helping to showcase the region’s strength in this sector.

“The commitment from these four yards to exhibit at Seatrade Cruise Med 2018 is both a testimony to the buoyancy of the industry and a unique catalyst for discussion on maintaining its promising future,” continued Hayman.

The Mediterranean’s repair and refurb scene has also expanded in lieu of the development of Marseille’s dry dock no.10; now the region’s biggest graving dock.

“Operated by Chantier Naval de Marseille, the relaunch of Marseille’s dry dock no.10 has been a great boost for the Mediterranean region; which currently hosts around 65% of the world’s largest cruise ships,” commented Mary Bond, Director of Publishing, Seatrade. “Measuring 465 meters in length and 85 meters in width, dry dock no. 10 is well poised to accommodate all types of vessels and also position itself as a state-of-the-art facility,” continued Bond.

Spain’s Navantia Shipyard in Cadiz is another important player in the ship repair sector, with its location in the Western Mediterranean a great advantage.

Taking place in Portugal from 19-20 September 2018, Seatrade Cruise Med is the Mediterranean’s leading industry trade show. In addition to its international exhibition, the event will also host a topical conference programme, including a focused session on regional shipbuilding, repair and refurb sector.

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