As it prepares to receive a newbuild in 2025, NYK Cruises opened an office at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
According to the Japan-based company, the facility was opened in late May.
Attended by executives of both NYK Cruises and Meyer Werft, the Japanese-styled celebration included a symbolic opening of a sake barrel, followed by a toast with the beverage using traditional masu cups.
A two-meter-tall flag of NYK Cruises was also hoisted at the shipyard, the company added, in a prepared statement on its website.
The opening of the local office marks another step towards the delivery of NYK’s first cruise newbuild in over 20 years, which is scheduled for 2025.
Experts of different departments will gather at the facility to cooperate with the shipyard in the construction of the ship, the company explained.
With the details of the design of the 229-meter-long vessel now finalized, NYK said it is now looking into the building process ahead of cutting the first pieces of steel.
Traditionally the first step in the process of construction of a ship, the steel cutting is currently scheduled for the upcoming fall.
Ordered in 2021, the newbuild will sail for NYK’s Asuka Cruises brand, which currently operated the 1990-built Asuka II.
Offering a luxury product, the yet unnamed vessel will be dual fuel and able to run on LNG. The 50,142-ton ship will accommodate up to 744 guests, in addition to 470 crew members.
According to Meyer Werft, the 385-cabin cruise ship will also be equipped with optimized hydrodynamics in accordance with its planned routes, as well as onboard facilities adapted to the needs of the Japanese passengers.
The ship will also introduce innovations to its air-conditioning systems and different contactless controls across its public areas and cabins, the shipyard said.