Fincantieri: ‘Confident Future’ in Cruise Ship Building

MSC Seashore

Fincantieri has 29 cruise ships on its orderbook for deliveries within the next four years, Luigi Matarazzo, general manager of the Merchant Ships Business Unit, told Cruise Industry News. The total order backlog is for 41 cruise ships, stretching to 2027.

“The collaboration between cruise lines and shipbuilding companies have been crucial,” he said. “We are all taking on the responsibility of leading the industry out of this crisis.

“Our remaining 2020 deliveries are only slightly delayed, with three ships set to leave our yards by the end of the year. In addition, we only have modest delays for three ships to 2023.

“The shipbuilding sector has been defined by the Italian government as strategic for Italy, and therefore our national export credit agency, SACE, is supporting our customers during this phase, just like their counterparts are doing in France and Germany, having a positive effect on employment and production.”

The main shipowners have unequivocally expressed their intention not to cancel any existing orders, according to Matarazzo, who said they are focused on new ships entering their fleets, replacing older and less efficient tonnage.

“The cruise lines know that a better performing fleet will enable them to implement new health and safety measures, generating a greater return on investment by optimizing operating expenses, while also complying with increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

“As a shipbuilding company we have maintained our ability to acquire new orders and seize further opportunities. In fact, we are proceeding according to our diversification strategy, through our divisions and subsidiaries, developing businesses in the infrastructure, electronics and cyber security sectors.”

When COVID-19 hit Italy, Fincantieri implemented its emergency response plans to prevent further spreading within its Italian shipyards, production sites and offices.

Production was suspended from March 16 to April 20, when it gradually resumed. By the end of June, it had ramped up to 90 percent.

Earlier this year and before the outbreak, Fincantieri delivered the Scarlet Lady to Virgin Voyages and the Seven Seas Splendor to Regent Seven Seas Cruises from its Italian yards and Le Bellot to Ponant from Vard, in addition to the July delivery of the Jacques Cartier.

September 30 saw the delivery of the Enchanted Princess from Monfalcone to be followed by the Costa Firenze from Marghera and the Silver Moon from Ancona later this fall.

“They will all join their fleets a few weeks late compared to the pre-COVID schedule,” said Matarazzo.

“We are looking forward with confidence,” he added, “with a confirmed workload over the next six to seven years and with financial results in line with targets of our business plan.”

Excerpt from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Fall 2020

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