MV Werften lays keel for Dream Cruises newbuild

MV Werften lays keel for Dream Cruises newbuild
Genting Hong Kong’s executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig at the cermeony (Image: MV Werften)

MV Werften laid the keel for Dream Cruises’ first Global-Class flagship at its yard in Rostock on 11 September – marking the start of the construction project for what will be the biggest cruise ship to be built in Germany to date.

Around 1,000 shipyard employees, partners and invited political and business guests attended the ceremony. They included Genting Hong Kong’s executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and group president Colin Au, as well as Dream Cruises president Thatcher Brown, MV Werften CEO Peter Fetten, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern State’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig and Minister of Economic Affairs Harry Glawe.

According to maritime tradition, these six executives placed traditional lucky coins into the building dock before a gantry crane lowered the first 410-ton block of keel, which was 22 metres long and 26 metres, into place.

“After an intensive engineering and design phase, today's keel laying marks the next stage of the manufacturing process of MV's first giant,” said Peter Fetten, MV Werften’s managing director.

Set to be 342 metres long and more than 46 metres wide, the 204,000gt newbuild will be constructed from parts built in parallel at MV Werften’s yards in both Rostock and Wismar. The 220-metre-long midship section will be manufactured in Rostock and then moved to Wismar in 2019, where the shipyard team will fit the bow, stern and superstructures. Meanwhile, the 2,500 passenger cabins produced by MV Werften Fertigmodule and installed in Wismar. In total, around 600 companies will be involved in the construction process.

“The construction of cruise ships is challenging, but above all it offers great opportunity for MV Werften and opens up new opportunities for many suppliers in our state as well,” said Prime Minister Schwesig. “I am delighted that all three locations – Wismar, Stralsund and Warnemünde – are benefiting from the shipyard's new path.”

Designed specifically for the Asian market, the new ship will boast several innovative features, including a cineplex, Asian and Western spas, shopping facilities, Asian and international dining experiences, fast-food restaurants and a theme park that includes a rollercoaster with virtual reality. The 2,500 cabins will be able to accommodate up to 5,000 passengers based on a twin-sharing basis, or up to 9,500 during peak holiday periods.

"The Global Class is designed from the keel upwards for the Asian source market, which requires more exciting public areas and larger cabins than traditional cruise ships and, supported by the world's leading technology and digital systems for Asians, who are more used to digital technology,” said Tan Sri Kok Thay Lim.

Dream Cruises has launched a contest to find a name – which can be in English and/or Chinese – for the new ship ahead of her 2020 delivery. The contest will be divided into two categories to allow both the general public and travel agents to participate. Entries must be submitted by 8 October 2018 and one winner from each category will receive a prize. The general public will receive 25 free cruises on the ship, while the travel agent's agency will receive HK$1 million (US$127,398) worth of cabins onboard.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Wednesday, September 12, 2018