‘Efficient Solutions’ from Chantiers de l’Atlantique

Orient Express Ship

Looking ahead, Chantiers de l’Atlantique will deliver the Celebrity Ascent this November, which is another project delivered on time despite headwinds coming out of the pandemic followed by the Ukraine war and supply chain hurdles, said Arnaud Le Joncour, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the shipyard.

Earlier this year, the yard delivered the MSC Euribia, which outperformed its digital twin in its inaugural sailing from the yard to Copenhagen.

“This is something we have developed over the last decade on every project,” Le Joncour said. “It helps us develop the most efficient solutions for the ship, putting everything into the system from the number of passengers to all the energy consumers.

“The digital twin continues to be available to a cruise line and can be a tool if we have a service agreement, sending them alerts on energy usage,” he continued. “The savings are tons of fuel … the payback is very quick.”


“Flexibility is another strength that Chantiers has developed over the last decade,” explained Le Joncour.

Examples include a totally redesigned top deck for the Wonder of the Seas, while the Utopia of the Seas, coming in 2024, has been converted for LNG.

Celebrity’s later Edge-class ships have been stretched while the final Edge-class ship will be methanol ready.


The French yard will build two ultra-luxury ships for Orient Express, with sail technology.

“There is a brilliant future for sails,” Le Joncour explained. “It works quite well for small ships between 200 and 250 meters long.”

If conditions are optimal, he said the sails can provide 100 percent of the propulsion for a ship up to 40,000 tons. More realistic numbers, however, have them contributing between 30 and 50 percent of the propulsion on average.


With an orderbook of sail ships, LNG ships and one methanol-ready Celebrity ship, Le Joncour said the era of traditional fuels is “behind us.”

“We are integrators,” he said. “We see what is available and we have to be honest, new equipment and the development of new technology takes time.”

There are a lot of similarities between methanol and LNG, Le Joncour continued, noting methanol is a bit easier to store as it doesn’t require the complexity of tanks that LNG does.

“We don’t have a crystal ball. We know what is available today. We know what may be available soon in small quantities, but in the long-term, there are some questions about what will be available in significant quantities. One way to think about ship design is to be flexible, using multiple fuels, and designing a ship to be able to start (its life) with one fuel and swap to another in the future.”

With the industry shut down during the pandemic, Le Joncour said the yard built out various risk scenarios.

“The market developed according to the best scenario,” he said. “Honestly we had some questions during covid. Will recovery be with small ships? Medium ships? Large ships? We have the answer: the future will include all the sizes of the ships. The big ships can be criticized but when we look carefully they are more efficient in terms of environment. They are better in terms of emissions per passenger. They have a good future.

“And we also saw the emergence of the luxury brands like Ritz-Carlton and Orient Express.”

Excerpt from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Fall 2023

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