Building luxurious river cruise vessels for the future

Den Breejen Shipyard is looking ahead by taking a creative approach to adapting ships

Building luxurious river cruise vessels for the future
The yard is now in the process of constructing a series of luxury ships for German investor PCE Fondsmanagement

By Elly Yates-Roberts |

With a focus on delivering quality and value for money, Netherlands-based and family-owned Den Breejen Shipyard is known as a specialist in the design, engineering and construction of luxurious and contemporary river cruise ships. While the industry has slowed down during the Covid-19 pandemic, the yard has continued to fill its order book for 2021 and is now in the process of constructing a series of luxury ships for German investor PCE Fondsmanagement. The first – TM Polaris – was delivered in March 2020, and her two sister ships TM Vega and TM Capella will follow in 2021.

In addition to maintaining the schedules for existing construction projects, Den Breejen is also preparing for the future. The shipyard has appointed a new chief commercial officer, Johan Kaasjager, who will succeed Jacques den Breejen following his resignation as commercial director after 40 years at the yard. Kaasjager brings with him a solid background in naval architecture and extensive commercial experience in shipbuilding.

“For the past two decades we have grown into an international player in shipbuilding, specialising in the river cruise market,” says Ilona Kamsteeg-den Breejen, chief financial officer at Den Breejen. “Johan is an enthusiastic and competent board member, and we are thrilled to have him.”

Kaasjager’s appointment represents a new era for the shipyard, one where investing in itself and its customers will be of paramount importance as the industry adjusts to the changes needed in the wake of Covid-19. For example, many operators will be looking to facilitate new measures onboard their vessels, such as social distancing. To do this, areas may need to be redesigned or adapted to accommodate extra space and protective screens – all things that Den Breejen is able to offer its customers.

“Following the current global situation with regards to Covid-19, we need to be as adaptive as possible to support our clients,” says Kaasjager. “Social distancing is an essential restriction, so we have to be creative to enable it, without compromising service and hospitality. Our goal is to stay in close contact with all of our clients and to support them where we can.”

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

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