MAY 13, 2016 — Fincantieri subsidiary Vard Holdings Limited has signed a Letter of Intent with an undisclosed international cruise company for the design and construction of two small-sized expedition cruise vessels. The parties plan to ink contracts in third quarter 2016.
The LOI enhances a diversification strategy, carried out in close collaboration with Fincantieri, that has already seen Vard ssign an LOI for four small-sized luxury cruise ships for French shipowner Ponant (see earlier story).
The 137 m x 22 m 14,500 gt vessels covered by the latest LOI will each have accommodations for 240 passengers in 120 cabins.The hulls will be built by Vard's shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, and delivery is scheduled from Vard's Langsten shipyard in Norway in first quarter 2019 and first quarter 2020 respectively. The vessels are being designed in close cooperation with the customer by Vard Design in Ålesund, Norway.
The vessels are specially designed for a high standard of facilities, ice-class and the highest demands for environmentally friendly and safe operations. Fincantieri, which has a 55.63% stake in Vard, will supply a number of important parts that will be built in Italy.
Vard CEO and Executive Director Mr. Roy Reite commented, "Our objective is to develop unique and tailor-made vessels to meet the needs of our customer to further develop their role in the expedition cruise market, and we are honored to sign a Letter of Intent for this exciting project. We look forward to continue our diversification strategy together with our new customers."