Meyer Werft wins breakthrough cruise ship order

Written by Nick Blenkey
FRendering of cruise ship

New cruise ship will operate for NYK Cruises' Asuka Cruises brand

Meyer Werft has become the first shipyard to win an order to build a new cruise ship since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order has been placed by Japan’s NYK group and is for a 740-passenger, 51,950 grt vessel that will be operated by NYK Cruises’ Asuka Cruises brand. It is the NYK Group’s first order at Meyer Werft.

Meyer Werft says the order is an important signal for its Papenburg, Germany, shipyard which has the world’s largest covered building dock.

Though the Asuka Cruises will be relatively small at 229 meters in length, Meyer Werft Managing Director Jan Meyer says the order is “another very important step towards securing the Papenburg site.”


He says the order has been won “with the best ship concept, innovations, quality and a very challenging price for us.”

“This is the first order in the shipyard’s 226-year history where all contract documents and plans were prepared and negotiated via video conferencing,” said Meyer. “The effort has paid off.”

Meyer Werft still faces challenges as it works through its backlog of existing cruse ship orders. Thus far, even with this latest order, it only has two ships on its books for the Papendrecht yard in 2025. Production at the yard is designed for an annual construction volume of 420,000 GT, but the two ships in 2025 have a total volume of only 182,000 GT.

“The current newbuilding order is not a turnaround from our difficult situation. In Papenburg we are designed for the series production of very large cruise ships,” adds Jan Meyer. “Now we are building the prototype of a small ship without the option of sister ships. Therefore, it is to be classified as another step among many necessary measures. At the same time, it is also a positive signal: it is a completely new customer for Meyer Werft, we have asserted ourselves on a global market against global competition.”


The newbuilding for NYK Cruises will be LNG fueled and implements a range of customized solutions that include hydrodynamics optimized in accordance with the planned routes as well as on-board facilities adapted to the needs of Japanese passengers. As a result of the pandemic, there will also be innovations to the air-conditioning systems and contactless controls. .

Technical data for NYK Group newbuilding

  • Length: 228.86 meters
  • Width: 29.80 meterss
  • Tonnage: 51,950 GT
  • Passenger cabins: 385 cabins Capacity:
  • 744 passengers
  • Crew: 470 Crew
  • Fuel: LNG propulsion
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