© Gilbert CAILLER

I don’t want to say I told you so, but I think you will find I did. Either that or STX is being a bit adventurous. Photos have arrived online suggesting that MSC has purchased the former Libyan cruise ship as MSC PREZIOSA. The ship is the same class as the soon to be launched MSC Divina and sister ships MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida.
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Christmas Presents for STX

STX looks set to have a bumber Christmas and New Years if everything goes to plan!

All Rivers Lead to the Ocean

Viking River Cruises has ordered two ocean going cruise ships, with the option of a third from STX in France. This is great news for STX workers, who have faced an uncertain future with the yards struggling for work in the recession.
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STX has a Reason to Smile: TUI Orders New Ships

It would appear that this hasn’t really been in the news much despite us knowing about this two days ago, probably as the ship will be built for the German market.

TUI Cruises has ordered a new 97,000GRT cruise ship to be built at STX Turku For delivery by March 2014. This ship will be joining Mein Schiff 1 & 2, and are the first new builds for the line. TUI Cruises is a joint venture between TUI AG and Royal Caribbean, the company was formed when TUI and Carnivals plans for a new German brand failed due to competition issues.

TUI AG own Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, who have the new Europa 2 under construction at STX France, and Thomson Cruises the mix of chartered ships serving the UK market. TUI AG is one of the worlds largest tourism companies.

The new ship is of a totally new design, however look similar to Royal Princess and the new Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, however it is smaller. As the rest of the TUI Cruises fleet has rather boring names we are hoping that these future ships will get some exciting (no numerical) names!

While this ship is not iconic, it will be interesting to see how they are refined during the building process. STX will be very happy for the order, as they have struggled to get new orders, with the decline in shipbuilding due to the recession and the growth of Meyer Werft in the cruise industry

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For Sale. One Owner: Gaddafi

The cruise ship for Libya, known as Phoenicia, which is currently under construction in France is up for sale. This follows the default on payment for the second instalment of the payment plan.

Phoenicia is part of the Fantasia class, of which MSC have MSC Fantasia, MSC Spendida and MSC Divina. The similarity in the design has meant that MSC are seen as the lead bidder for the 140,000GT cruise vessel, the ship is currently due for delivery in December 2012. MSC Cruises head Pierfrancesco Vago has been quoted as saying the ship would make a suitable addition to the fleet, In addition Lloyds List reported that MSC FRANCE boss Erminio Eschena said his company was considering to buy the vessel.

When ordered, it was widely wondered why Libya’s GNMTC (General National Maritime Transport Company) has ordered one of the worlds largest cruise ships, who would cruise on Gaddafi’s cruise liner? And with 4000 passengers this would not have been a small operation, with Americans likely to stay away the ship would likely have been targeted to the Domestic and Southern european market. There was also a suggestion the ship would be chartered to MSC. At the time or ordering GNMTC were quoted as saying ‘We haven’t got any plans for the time being. We have just ordered it.’

As for the interior decoration of the vessel would also be similar to that of the others in the Fantasia class, which would mean that for a traditional cruise operator to take over changes in design could be small. 

Other possible bidders include TUI Cruises who have been continuously mentioned as requiring an additional cruise ship and P&O Austalia, as competition down under heats up. Perhaps even NCL, with their previous history of buying abandoned cruise ships will prevail? Who knows, but they will have to be quick for a December 2012 launch.

Personally I hope its MSC, as MSC Phoenicia sounds quite nice, and it would make a suitable addition for the rest of the fleet, with her three sister ships. Once MSC Divina is delivered next year MSC have no further ships on order.

Would you have cruised with Gaddafi? Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email!

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Tripoli Post –
GNMTC Press Release –

EOSEAS – A concept worth thinking about?

This isn’t a new concept, its been around since 2009, but I think it is an interesting one, and one I would like to discuss. The design is by STX Europe and the ship is a five hulled vessel, it’s an environmentally friendly concept which reduces CO2 emissions by 50%.

As a cruise ship it is an interesting vessel , a mix between Radisson Diamond and Oasis of the Seas, with a bit of Windstar thrown in for good luck, I have tested some people on what they think of the ships appearance and results have been missed, my mum saying the sails look terrible, but for me that was the main selling point, it looks so different.

As the above video will point out the vessel will use and LNG engine, I believe this would be the first cruise ship to be powered in such a way, the sails also add to the power. STX says the vessel will have a passenger capacity of 3311 passengers. The cabin design is also interesting, as the video points out, the ship has a ‘Double Skin’ which improves the air circulation, and the vessel has both traditional balconies and communal balconies providing access to the cabin, I don’t believe this would appeal to most cruisers, however I do believe it would appeal to some and would make an interesting feature.

I actually like this ship so much I’m getting a model made of it, I will post some pictures once it is delivered.

It does make me wonder why some of the features have not be carried over to other ships, I am aware a few cruise ships have solar panels to assist, and a lot are increasingly green, but i think a prototype ship like this showcasing the technologies is needed to encourage more lines to turn to green ways of working. The price of oil is expected to continue rising, and cruise lines need to find an alternative before it’s too late! How long will it be till we have Cruise ships powered by LNG? Sails are problematic, as cruise ships need to fist into ports, and bridges could stop the ships with their masts getting in, It is my understanding that EOSEAS could NOT fit into New York.

In the strive for more balcony cabins surely a multi-hull vessel is an interesting development, and will allow for increased stability. The only ‘large’ cruise ship being the former Radisson Diamond, I do believe that this could be a possibility in the near future.

Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas as well as the Celebrity Solstice and sisters are all armed with Solar Panels, as seen below on Allure of the Seas.

For those who are interested Windstar Cruises has posted our previous article on their blog, have a look 😀

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Links: – EOSEAS Concept on STX Europe’s website – EOSEAS Technical Details