The recently enacted "American Jobs Creation Act" gives significant tax breaks to a number of U.S. industries--including shipping.
MARINE LOG and BLANK ROME will present a senior level seminar CHANGES IN U.S. TAXATION OF SHIPPING INCOME in Stamford, Conn. on April 5 & 6, 2004
Make sure you know how the new tax rules work!
March 7, 2005
Royal Caribbean to add third Freedom class megaliner
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, to add a third ship to its Freedom class of vessels now being built for Royal Caribbean International. The Freedom class will be the world's largest cruiseships, with a GRT about 6 percent larger than the current largest.
The agreement announced today is subject to certain conditions, including board approval.
Like the series' first and second ships, this third newbuild is a 158,000-GRT vessel, with a length of 1,112 ft and breadth of 126 ft. The 18 deck megaliner will have 1,800 cabins that will accommodate 3,600 guests double occupancy. It will have 1,400 crewmembers and will enter service in early 2008, two years after the class debuts in April, 2006, with Freedom of the Seas.
The company estimates the cost of the third ship, including the contract price (specified in euros), capitalized interest, owner-delivered items, and engineering/construction oversight, to be approximately $230,000 per berth, at current exchange rates.
The Freedom series builds on Royal Caribbean's five, highly popular Voyager-class ships--the vessels that introduced rock-climbing and ice-skating as cruise ship features.
The ships in this newest class will be 15 percent larger than those in the Voyager-class. Royal Caribbean says they "will have new features, not yet revealed, destined to become industry icons."
"We have said all along that the continued success of our brands will depend on the steady, sustained growth of our fleet," said Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, "We are pleased to reaffirm that pledge today and are excited about the enormous possibilities inherent in these new ships."
Royal Caribbean's newest entrant to its fleet, Jewel of the Seas, its 19th ship, debuted last Spring. The company ordered Freedom of the Seas in September, 2003.
Aker Finnyards, which is a part of Aker Yards, has two of these record breaking cruise ships under construction at its yard in Turku. The first cruise ship in this class--Freedom of the Seas--will be delivered to RCI in April 2006 and the second ship will be ready for delivery in spring 2007.
"We are extremely proud of building these three giants for the cruise market," says Yrjoe Julin, President of Aker Finnyards. "This ship will provide our client with a unique revenue platform, creating value for Royal Caribbean going forward."