Former Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Erwin Sellering at the steel-cutting ceremony with GHK's Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, current Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, and Mayor of Wismar Thomas Beyer (Image: MV Werften)
MV Werften cut the first pieces of steel for the first of two new Global Class cruise ships for Asia-based company Genting Hong Kong (GHK) at its yards in Rostock and Wismar, Germany on 8 March 2018.
Parts of the 204,000gt ship will be built in parallel at MV Werften’s Rostock and Wismar yards, before the vessel is fully assembled at the latter and delivered to GHK at the end of 2020.
Around 600 companies will be involved in the construction process of what will be the largest-ever cruise ship to be built in Germany. Construction on the second Global Class ship will begin in early 2019 for delivery at the end of 2021.
“We are manning up to the major challenge to build these magnificent ships and we will use all our skills and expertise to promote ‘Shipbuilding made in MV’ worldwide as a trademark of quality,” said Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV Werften. “We would like to thank our employees and partners for their excellent work during the design and planning phase. This achievement must now be carried forward in the construction phase.”
Designed to house around 5,000 passengers in 2,500 cabins, the Global Class ships will feature accommodation and onboard venues and innovations that reflect the tastes of Asian passengers. They will include a cineplex, theme park, Asian spa, multiple Asian dining experiences, fast-casual food alternatives, shopping facilities, and the cruise industry’s first-ever escalators. Dream Cruises will also harness artificial intelligence (AI) to offer facial recognition when embarking and disembarking passengers, and when taking onboard payments. AI will also be used to provide contextual marketing across ship facilities.
“These ships are not only the largest cruise ships to be built in Germany; they are also the most technologically advanced with AI,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, GHK chairman and CEO. “The Global Class ships mirror the widespread use of technology and AI by our Asians guests in their daily lives, with facial and voice recognition for most services onboard, eliminating most queues; contextual marketing to even out demand on ship facilities; automated robots to perform mundane tasks to allow the hardworking staff to focus on service delivery; and other AI and digital systems.”
Originally planned for GHK’s Star Cruises fleet, the 342-metre-long Global Class ships will now become part of its Dream Cruises brand to help the company expand into new markets and sail to more destinations.
“Building on the successful debuts of Genting Dream in 2016 and World Dream in 2017, the addition of two Global Class ships to the fleet will allow Dream Cruises to offer our partners and guests more itineraries worldwide,” said Thatcher Brown, president of Dream Cruises. “Our plans are to have Shanghai and Tianjin as homeports in summer and then, to offer itineraries in Australia, New Zealand, the ASEAN region, and the West coast of the United States in winter. By 2021, there will be about eight million Asian tourists to Australia and New Zealand annually, and Dream Cruises will be able to offer an attractive cruise alternative to a land vacation for these Asian visitors. Expanding the Dream Cruises brand “globally” goes hand-in-hand with an aggressive newbuild programme that will over double our capacity in by 2021.”
GHK will soon start work on designing a new class of ships for Star Cruises, which will be launched in the coming years.
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