Fincantieri completed the delivery yesterday, November 13, of the third and final luxury cruise ship being built for Regent Seven Seas Cruises while also announcing plans to expand the shipbuilding facility in Ancona, Italy where the cruise ship was built. Fincantieri has been using the Ancona yard located on the central Adriatic coast as its lead shipyard for smaller, luxury cruise ships.
Ordered in January 2019 for a reported $515 million by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for its luxury brand the cruise ship, Seven Seas Grandeur, is the third sister in a class of three ships known as the Explorer Class. They were designed to expand and elevate the brand. At 55,500 gross tons and 735 feet in length, the cruise ships each have accommodations for just 746 passengers and 548 crew. The cruise line promotes them as having among the highest space ratio and staff-to-guest ratio in the industry.
The interior designs were developed by Miami-based Studio Dado which is developing designs for all of Norwegian’s brands. The Regent ships are known for their use of marble and luxury fittings with the new ship boating of a 1,600-piece art collection. The Seven Seas Grandeur features 15 categories of suites, all outside with balconies, ranging in size from 307 square feet to the Regent Suite which at 4,443 square feet sells for $11,000-a-night. The ship has eight dining options and a large spa.
Construction of the cruise ship began in November 2021 with the first steel cut and the first blocks into the dry dock in July 2022. The Seven Seas Grandeur was floated in February 2023. The cruise line highlights her entry into service is well-timed to the continuing growth in demand for luxury travel. The ship will cruise mostly in the Caribbean this winter before returning to the Mediterranean in the spring of 2024.
Seven Seas Grandeur during sea trials (Fincantieri)
The Ancona shipyard also built the previous cruise ship for Regent Seven Seas, the Seven Seas Splendor which was delivered at the end of January 2020 as well as smaller, luxury cruise ships for competing brands including Silversea Cruises and Viking. The last Viking cruise ship, Viking Saturn was delivered earlier in 2023 from the yard.
Coinciding with the delivery, Fincantieri reports that it has agreed with the Port System Authority of the Central Adriatic Sea to support the development of the port of Ancona and the shipyard. In 2018, the shipbuilder reached a strategic agreement with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the port authority for the further development of shipbuilding in the port.
The total investment will be approximately $87 million of which half will be publicly funded and the remainder by Fincantieri. The company has received a 40-year concession from the Italian government for the facility and will invest in the facility to support the construction of larger cruise ships and other types of merchant ships.
The enhanced facility will be able to build larger ships and increased tonnage. They will extend the existing dry dock and the breakwater and create a new construction pier.
Fincantieri currently operates a production network of 18 shipyards on four continents and with almost 21,000 employees. Larger cruise ships are being built at the company’s Sestri Ponte yard near Genoa on Italy’s west coast as well as the shipyards at Marghera (Venice) and Monfalcone, both on the Adriatic.
The company has built a broad relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for both its Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises brands. They are currently building another cruise ship for Oceania at Sestri Ponti as well as four large cruise ships for Norwegian Cruise Line at the yard in Marghera. The parent company is also rumored to be working on plans for additional new luxury ships for its two brands, although no further orders have been placed. Fincantieri however has a large orderbook that also includes large cruise ships for Princess Cruises and TUI’s Mein Schiff as well as more luxury ships for MSC’s Explora Journeys and Viking and the two luxury yacht cruise ships for Four Seasons.
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