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Thursday, April 1, 2021 

NYK Cruises and Meyer Werft have signed a contract for the construction of a new LNG-fuelled cruise ship, which the German yard says is noteworthy, making it the first shipyard to have received a newbuilding order for a cruise ship since the beginning of the pandemic.

Meyer Werft says this is a significant move for its Papenburg site, with the world's largest covered building dock, even if the newbuilding is relatively small at 229m in length and 51,950gt.

MD Jan Meyer said: "It is another very important step towards securing the Papenburg site. New orders are absolutely necessary for our current programme for the future with enormously important savings and very many different measures. We have been able to win our new customer from Japan as a new customer in this extremely difficult global market situation and worldwide competition with the best ship concept, innovations, quality and a very challenging price for us. My thanks go to the entire staff and especially to the Sales & Design department, which has done a great job in this tense phase. This is the first order in the shipyard's 226-year history where all contract documents and plans were prepared and negotiated via video conferencing. The effort has paid off."

Imke Knoop, Head of Sales & Design, said: "The pandemic allows shipping companies all over the world to freely choose shipyard locations. The challenge is to survive with our combination of design, quality, innovation and, of course, under ever-increasing price pressure in the face of worldwide, sometimes heavily subsidised, competition. The order has come just in time; so far only one new building has been in our halls for 2025."

"Of course we are delighted about the newbuilding order, but at the same time we have to push ahead with our future programme, continue to convert and optimise the shipyard so that we can also deliver the ship with economic success," said director Thomas Weigend. "Thanks to this order, we now also have a second ship in the works in 2025, namely a small and a large ship. But it remains the case that we still have a lot of work missing for the year 2025. Our production in Papenburg is designed for an annual construction volume of 420,000gt, but the two ships in 2025 have a total volume of only 182,000gt."

But Meyer added a note of caution - he said: "The current newbuilding order is not a turnaround from our difficult situation. In Papenburg we are designed for the series production of very large cruise ships. Now we are building the prototype of a small ship without the option of sister ships. Therefore, it is to be classified as another step among many necessary measures. At the same time, it is also a positive signal: it is a completely new customer for Meyer Werft, we have asserted ourselves on a global market against global competition."

The 744-passenger newbuilding for NYK Cruises is scheduled for delivery in 2025. Meyer Werft will install LNG propulsion, successfully introduced in a cruise vessel by Meyer Werft in 2018. Meyer Werft is implementing numerous customised solutions for the current new order, including hydrodynamics optimised in accordance with the planned routes as well as on-board facilities adapted to the needs of Japanese passengers and, as a result of the pandemic, innovations to the air-conditioning systems and contactless controls.

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