November 30, 2009
Samsung Heavy Industries inks LOI for $1.1 billion cruise ship
Samsung Heavy Industries said today that an affiliate of Utopia Residences of Beverly Hills has executed a binding letter of intent to build a luxury residential ocean liner.
J.W. Kim, the Vice Chairman of Samsung, said, "This is an historic day for Samsung, for Korea and for all of Asia because this ocean liner will be the most luxurious ship in the world, and the largest passenger ship ever built on the Asian continent."
David Robb, the Chairman of Utopia Residences remarked, "This will be the grandest ship in the world and will be a center for learning, cultural exchange and philanthropy unlike any platform ever created."
Measuring 971 feet long (296 meters) and over 105,000 gross tons, Utopia will have 200 luxury residences ranging in size from 1,400 to 6,600 square feet (130 to 613 square meters). It will also have a 204 room boutique luxury hotel, casino, spa, theater, night club, swimming pools, marina, signature restaurants and private residents club. Utopia has partnered with Elomatic in the design and engineering of the ship, with Tillberg Design serving as the main and coordinating architect.
The ship will travel to ports during major cultural and sporting events such as the Cannes Film Festival, Monte Carlo Grand Prix, The Olympics, Carnaval, Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Melbourne Cup and other worldwide events of international acclaim.
According to Mr. Robb, "The residents onboard this ocean liner will enjoy the time of their lives, learn about other cultures and experience the most luxurious and stress-free way to travel."
Captain Ola Harsheim, SVP of Utopia said "the residents on the ship will be able to take all of their belongings with them in their private homes as they travel on a perpetual tour of the world's greatest events."
According to Captain Harsheim, Utopia's historic order with Samsung and investment in the ship, including options and Utopia's deliverables, is valued at over US$1.1 billion.
The Utopia website says that, prior to joining Utopia in 2007, Captain Harsheim was instrumental in working with architects, designers, and engineers to create, design, and build The World, the first residential ocean liner, The World , which launched in 2002. The Utopia site says that Captain Harsheim has reassembled the team of four senior engineers who led the design, construction, and operation of The World.
Among these is Tor Hansen. Prior to joining Utopia, Mr. Hansen spent nine years with The World, serving first as Chief Engineer overseeing the construction and delivery of the first residential ocean liner ever built, and subsequently as Vice President of Marine Operations and also as Vessel Manager for the ship. Mr. Hansen has 25 years of experience in the cruise industry, having served in a variety of capacities, including Chief Engineer with Crystal Cruises and Cunard.
Wilhelmsen Ship Management, a subsidiary of Wilh. Wilhlemsen Group, will provide ship management services for Utopia -- as it does for The World.
According to Korean reports, after finalizing terms on the basic design, Samsung will sign the main contract in the first half of next year and deliver the ship from its Geoje shipyard by 2013.