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February 22, 2002

Austal gets order for "boutique" cruise ships
Austal Limited today announced that subsidiary Austal Ships has secured a contract for two 69 meter "boutique" cruise ships for operation in French Polynesia.

The new order, with a combined contract value of approximately Australian $50 million (about US$25.6 million), increases Austal’s total value of vessels under construction or on order to over A$393 million.

Austal’s managing director, Bob McKinnon, said the new contract further highlighted the success of Austal’s diversification strategy, with secured footholds in the luxury, passenger and vehicle ferry, military/defense and tourism markets.

Austal has identified a growing market for "boutique" cruises, recognizing the growing demand in the tourism sector for cruise packages offering a more intimate cruise holiday.

"Through our experience in the design and construction of a broad range of products, we are now in a very positive position to capitalize on this market and to offer fully customized solutions to ‘boutique’ cruise operators," McKinnon said.

Ordered by Bora Bora Cruises of Tahiti, the 69 m ‘boutique’ cruise ships will be of monohull design, demonstrating Austal’s flexibility in design and customization.

"Tu Moana" and "Tia Moana" (meaning ‘strong on the ocean’ and ‘sure and stable on the ocean’) will accommodate 78 passengers each and will provide luxury cruises between the islands of Huahine, Paiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora at a comfortable cruising speed of 14 knots.

Due for delivery in early 2003, the cruise ships will feature a luxurious interior outfit with a variety of onboard facilities including a combination of double and twin share cabins, lounge and restaurant areas, a pool/spa and an array of watersports equipment