NOVEMBER 15, 2018 — A traditional steel cutting ceremony at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland today marked the start of construction on Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest class of vessel, the 5,286-lower berth, 180,000 gt XL class.
The yet to be named cruise ship is set to be delivered in 2020 and will be the first North American-based cruise ship to be fueled by LNG. A second XL ship will start construction in 2020 and is scheduled be delivered in 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Carnival Cruise Line’s founding.
At the ceremony, the company also revealed a dramatic new red, white and blue hull design developed by New York-based Bluarch Architecture, that, says Carnival, “celebrates its legacy as America’s Cruise Line and pays homage to maritime tradition.”
“This new ship promises to be truly special, from its groundbreaking technology and one-of-a-kind features to its distinctive livery and hull design that is both timeless and forward-thinking while paying tribute to our nearly 50-year history of making wonderful vacation memories for our guests,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“We are extremely pleased to work together with Carnival on this large and highly innovative ship. With the first steel cutting, our efforts in designing the hull, features and interior of the ship start to take shape. We are also very proud to build the first-ever LNG powered cruise ship for North American market, making this state-of-the-art green technology a reality,” commented Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
As previously announced, the as-yet-unnamed ship will operate from Port Canaveral, FL, beginning in 2020. The ship’s name is scheduled to be revealed in early December. Details on the ship’s inaugural season are planned to be announced in January, with information on the vessel’s culinary, beverage and entertainment options to be revealed later in 2019.
MEYER RAMPS UP TURKU PRODUCTION
Meyer Turku’s production is already at the level of its previous all-time high and more than doubled from 2014 when Meyer family bought the shipyard. To ramp-up of production, the shipyard has hired more than 700 new shipbuilders since 2014 and recruitment is continuing at a pace of approximately 200 people each year.
Meyer Turku is also investing in a new plate cutting line, a new profile cutting line and a new panel line, all of which are currently in th final stages of construction at the moment.
“With our new steel pre-treatment facility and storage and of course the new gantry crane that started operation in May, we are already seeing the effects of these investments. Next we will take further custom designed machines with increased automation into use in hull production. This all is happening in parallel with our ramp-up of both design and production in order to deliver on the promises we have made to our customers. For us and the network this is very exciting time as we are able to really show what we are capable of with the design and also the construction of these very sophisticated cruise ships,” says Jan Meyer.