Helsinki Shipyard Eyes Cruise Business and More Newbuilds

“We worked hard for a number of weeks to put this together,” said Carl-Gustaf Rotkirch, CEO of Helsinki Shipyard, commenting on the yard’s recent two-ship expedition cruise ship order from Vodohod.

With the yard under new ownership at the end of May, sanctions relating to the previous Russian owners no longer apply, allowing them to compete in the free market, Rotkirch said.

It also means there is a new shipbuilding player on the scene in the cruise industry, with available slots for early 2020s deliveries.  

“We have the possibility to offer clients slots a bit earlier than the other yards, and that is a benefit,” Rotkirch said.

The former Grand Bahamas Shipyard CEO told Cruise Industry News that Helsinki Shipyard offered a covered dock, with the ability to build up to panamax-sized vessels.

The yard is known for its expertise in building ice-breaking workhorse vessels.

The two ship order from Vodohod calls for deliveries in August of 2021 and January of 2022. The expedition ships will carry 148 guests and are around 10,000 tons each.

With vessel designs just about completed, renderings are expected to be released from Vodohod over the summer, with construction to start later this year.

“There is quite a lot of interest in cruise ships at the moment,” Rotkirch noted.

While there is interest, the yard is bullish on landing more orders, both for expedition ships and mid-size vessels.

“It will take us a little time to get prepared to take on the bigger ships, but we will get there,” said Rotkirch.

The yard last built small cruise ships in the 1980s, when it completed the Sea Goddess I and II. The yard’s last cruise ship newbuild was the Carnival Miracle, which launched in 2004.

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