Getting ahead of demand in a challenging situation

Johan Kaasjager tells Alex Smith about how Den Breejen Shipyard is looking to rebound after the challenges of the pandemic

Getting ahead of demand in a challenging situation
Den Breejen has collaborated with Dutch studio Omega Architects for the speculative design

The Covid-19 pandemic has created severe disruption throughout the cruise industry, requiring many companies to take steps to secure their future. 

“In a normal period, cruise lines are looking to expand their fleets,” says Johan Kaasjager, commercial director at Den Breejen Shipyard. “But at the moment, we see that the river cruise market is on hold. We have some good enquiries outstanding, but a lot of clients are postponing their decisions.” 

Den Breejen has therefore decided to take matters into its own hands. Rather than waiting for a specific order, the shipbuilder has prepared a speculative vessel design in collaboration with Omega Architects, a renowned Dutch design studio. This will enable the ship to be completed and delivered before spring 2023, when the shipyard anticipates demand will have rebounded. 

“I spent many years in the yachting industry, and several yards take this approach,” says Kaasjager. “If a client needs a vessel quickly, we can have one available immediately.” 

The 2.5-deck vessel will be 135 metres long and have a 11.45 metre beam, with a maximum operating speed of 22 kilometres an hour. She will be powered by a Stage V compliant engine and be equipped to recover waste heat to produce electricity.  

The ship will have capacity for 182 guests in four suites and 87 cabins. A panorama aft lounge can be customised as a bar, lounge or brasserie, while an alfresco lounge towards the front can be opened up to the fore deck. A top deck will feature a rooftop bar and Jacuzzi. 

“Of course, if a client steps in and wants to make some changes, they can,” says Kaasjager. “The sooner they step in, the greater the influence they can have over the layout and interior design. 

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
09 December 2021

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