Keel Laid for Seabourn Odyssey

A keel-laying ceremony was celebrated today at the new yard of CI.MAR. (Cimolai-Mariotti) in San Giorgio di Nogaro (East Italy) to officially begin the construction of Seabourn Odyssey, which is the first of the new two ultra luxury cruise ships commissioned in Italy by Seabourn Cruise Line.

Present at the ceremony were: Pamela C. Conover, president and CEO of Seabourn, Marco Bisagno, president of T.Mariotti shipyard Genoa and Luigi Cimolai a leader of the Pordenone Group and president of CI.MAR. Costruzioni Navali, together with the companies’ top management and Pietro Del Frate, the Mayor of San Giorgio di Nogaro.

The ship’s owner traditionally places a coin that is welded to the keel when a shipbuilding is started, to solicit good fortune for the vessel during its construction and throughout its seagoing life Today, on the steel that will become Seabourn Odyssey’s hull, two coins have been welded:

– One U.S. silver dollar placed by Pamela Conover, president of Seabourn, the luxury brand of Miamibased Carnival Corporation & PLC;

– One Italian euro coin from the shipbuilder, placed by Marco Bisagno president of the Italian T.Mariotti Shipyard. CI.MAR. Costruzioni Navali SpA is a new company established by Cimolai SpA Group, among whose most famous projects are the Athens Olympic Stadium, Cardiff Stadium and the Reggio Emilia Bridge, and T.Mariotti SpA, a leader in the construction of ultra luxury cruise ships and mega-yachts.

This alliance, between the best civil and industrial engineering firm and the premier ultra luxury shipbuilder, is a “Made in Italy” partnership intended to last for many years to come. It begins today with the construction of the hulls for Seabourn Odyssey and her as-yet un-named sister ship. In the Cimolai yard at San Giorgio di Nogaro, where the new company is based, an area of about 50,000 sqm has been assigned to the projects. A special overhead crane with a capacity of 300 tons is now under construction (height 45 mt, width 35 mt) to rotate and place the pre-fabricated sections that will form the hulls.

Approximately 6,000 tons of steel will be welded to form the sleek hull ( 650 feet long, with a beam of 84 feet) of the line’s new $250 million flagship, which, when she is launched in 2009, will be the first addition to any fleet in the ultra luxury segment of the cruise industry in six years. The ship’s superstucture (more than 3,000 tons) will be built contemporaneously at Mariotti’s Genoa building site. When the hull arrives in Genoa, the two parts will be immediately joined, and the final construction and fitting out will be performed.

The Yachts of Seabourn’s newest, largest vessel – to be followed by a sister ship in 2010 – is being designed by the renowned architecture firm of Yran & Storbraaten of Norway. Seabourn Odyssey will be 32,000 GRT and will operate with a service speed of 19 knots.

The luxury flagship will feature the same intimate comfort that is the hallmark of Seabourn’s existing fleet, and boast among the highest space-per-guest ratios in the cruise industry.

A key Seabourn brand feature, which is unusual on a vessel of this size, is the addition of a “marina” on the stern of the ship that can be lowered into the sea for swimming and water sports.

As the keel construction is officially begun in Italy, in the U.S., Seabourn has already opened waiting lists for guests who wish to sail on voyages during the ship’s maiden year.

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