Fincantieri’s business plan covers both newbuildings and conversions and upgrades, according to Andrew Toso, senior vice president, Fincantieri Services. Although they are two distinct activities, he said, they are complementary, ensuring the continuity and expansion of the cruise fleets.
While cruise operators continue to invest in new ships, existing ships can remain competitive and attractive through proper maintenance, conversions and upgrades.
“The recent refitting and modernization of the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony at Fincantieri’s Trieste yard demonstrated our capabilities in this segment,” Toso said.
After an initial phase committed to engineering, the project lasted for five months and raised the level of amenities and accommodations onboard the two ships significantly, he said.
The project concluded with standard drydocking work preparing the ships for their return to service.
“Our Palermo, Trieste and Genoa shipyards remain the key facilities where we focus on repairs, maintenance, stretchings, and major upgrade projects,” Toso said.
He explained that Fincantieri has also been involved in several other refurbishment projects through assistance given directly to the owners and operators for projects carried out in other shipyards.
“We are continuing to pursue a strategy of expansion in this sector, by offering different services ranging from feasibility studies to design, project planning, procurement, engineering, supervision and management of projects carried out by owners and operators in other shipyards regardless of the geographical location,” he noted.
The Fincantieri Services business unit also has the advantage of being firmly supported by the engineering, technical and other resources within the organization.
“We have a highly developed professional and specialist resource network available to us, which is already established within the industry, and to which we can refer and request support as necessary during the execution of our projects,” Toso added.
“This enables us to undertake complex work which require considerable engineering and technical support, such as stretchings and large cruise ship upgrades, with shorter lead times, within budget and on tight schedules.”
Toso said that Fincantieri has established strong partnerships with subcontractors and has an extensive supply network in all areas within the industry, due to its long experience as a cruise ship builder.
“Procurement and project management functions are also highly developed, and refit and refurbishment clients at our shipyards benefit from these connections and competencies.”
The company is also a major player in the energy transition and in the evolution of future greener ships.
To meet new emission requirements, Fincantieri has established partnerships with MAN and Wartsila for the development of technologies required in the conversion of engines from HFO to methanol, for example.
During 2023, in addition to the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, several other projects were undertaken in Palermo, including work on cruise ships, ferries, offshore units and naval vessels.
“We are anticipating a busy 2024 for our yards with most of the docking slots already booked for planned stops of cruise ships and ferries that are due for class renewal and major upgrades,” Toso said.