Cruise lines unequivocally not looking to cancel new ship orders says Fincantieri

Fincantieri’s cruise line customers have expressed no interest in cancelling any of the new cruise ships they have ordered from the shipyard and are pushing ahead with deliveries through 2020 despite the pandemic, according to a report by Cruise Industry News.

With 29 cruise ships under construction and due for delivery in the next four years, the leading Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri said that its cruise line customers are committed to their newbuild deliveries as they will improve efficiency and operating profits.

Costa Firenze is one of the ships Fincantieri will deliver to Costa later this year.

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Operational efficiency is key for cruise lines as they head into 2021, during which the expected recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will likely be slow.

Cruise lines anticipate limited capacity due to ongoing and evolving travel restrictions, localised flare-ups of the virus and social distancing requirements on-board.

For these reasons, cruise lines have opted to offload older, less efficiency tonnage instead of cancelling new ships on order.

“The cruise lines know that a better performing fleet will enable them to implement new health and safety measures, generating a greater return on investment by optimising operating expenses, while also complying with increasingly stringent environmental regulations,” said Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of Fincantieri’s Merchant Ships Business Unit.

“Our remaining 2020 deliveries are only slightly delayed, with three ships set to leave our yards by the end of the year. In addition, we only have modest delays for three ships to 2023,” he added.

Scarlet Lady was delivered to Virgin Voyages just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Although the shipyard has 29 ships due for delivery by 2023, it has a total of 41 ships on order until 2027.

“The collaboration between cruise lines and shipbuilding companies have been crucial,” said Matarazzo. “We are all taking on the responsibility of leading the industry out of this crisis.

Earlier this year, before the coronavirus outbreak, Fincantieri delivered Scarlet Lady to Virgin Voyages and Seven Seas Splendor to Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In September it delivered Enchanted Princess to Princess Cruises and is due to hand over Costa Firenze to Costa Cruises and Silver Moon to Silversea later this fall.

“They will all join their fleets a few weeks late compared to the pre-COVID schedule,” Matarazzo confirmed, but expressed his optimism of a recovery for the industry moving forward. “We are looking forward with confidence,” he said.

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