Fincantieri’s Norwegian subsidiary Vard Holdings Limited (VARD), specializing in the design and shipbuilding of offshore and specialized vessels, has signed a Letter of Intent with the French ship owner Ponant, a subsidiary of Artemis Group, for the construction of four small-sized luxury cruise vessels.
The letter, signed during the Seatrade Cruise Global currently underway in Fort Lauderdale, the United States, subject to several conditions including satisfactory ship owner financing, marks the entrance of VARD in the cruise shipbuilding sector.
The four luxurious exploration cruise vessels, to be built by VARD Group’s production network, will be 128 meters long, 18 meters wide, and will be approximately 10,000 gross tons. The newbuilds will have a cruise speed of 15 knots and accommodate 180 passengers on board (92 cabins) with a 110-member crew. The deliveries are scheduled in Norway in the period summer 2018 to the summer 2019.
Featuring the latest environmentally-friendly technologies, the ships will be able to reach ports and destinations inaccessible to larger vessels.
In the past Fincantieri has already built four vessels for Ponant, Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, delivered respectively in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015.
“The agreement announced today is of the utmost importance for the entire Fincantieri Group. Our shipyards dedicated to the construction of cruise ships, in fact, would not have been able to accept these new vessels for several years, given the current workload. Thanks to the synergies developed with Vard we have been, instead, able to meet the needs of Ponant, with which we have a longstanding partnership,” Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, says.
VARD is 55.63% controlled by Fincantieri which fully consolidates its financial results.