German cruise ship builder Meyer Werft has signed a contract for the construction of a new cruise ship marking the first newbuilding order in the sector since the start COVID-19 pandemic.
was awarded by Japan-based NYK Group for a relatively small 229-meter-long ship, powered by LNG, that will come in at 51,950 gross tonnes. In a normal year, the newbuild order would be less than significant, however this year is anything but normal. According to Meyer Werft, the order marks the first newbuild order for the cruise ship industry since the pandemic put a pause to cruise shipping worldwide.
Meyer Werft operates the world’s largest covered cruise ship building dock in Papenburg, Germany. The parent company Meyer Group also has shipyards in Rostock, Germany and Turku, Finland.
“It is another very important step towards securing the Papenburg site. New orders are absolutely necessary for our current program for the future with enormously important savings and very many different measures,” said Jan Meyer, Meyer Werft’s Managing Director.
For the shipyard, the order marks the first from NYK. It is also an important step towards the yard’s capacity utilization since it is only the second ship scheduled for delivery in 2025.
“Of course we are delighted about the newbuilding order, but at the same time we have to push ahead with our future program, continue to convert and optimize the shipyard so that we can also deliver the ship with economic success,” explains Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of Meyer Werft. “Thanks to this order, we now also have a second ship in the works in 2025, namely a small and a large ship. But it remains the case that we still have a lot of work missing for the year 2025. Our production in Papenburg 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.”
While Jan Meyer notes that the order does not mean its business is out of the woods quite yet, since the Papenburg yard is intended for the production of multiple very large cruise ships in succession.
“Now we are building the prototype of a small ship without the option of sister ships, added Jan Meyer. “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.”
While the latest newbuild order marks the first order placed since the start of the pandemic, Meyer Group has continued to be relatively busy throughout. In the last year, the group has delivered a total of eight ships across its three yards, including the most recent delivery of the Odyssey of the Seas to Royal Caribbean, which was constructed at the Papenburg yard.
Sign up for our newsletter