Werften lays cruise ship keel as Genting announces new Universal Class
A keel laying for the second 208,000gt cruise ship in the Global class at the Werften yard in Rostock at the beginning of the week was used as the occasion for the yard’s owners – Hong-Kong’s Genting Group to announce a completely new class of ships to be known as the Universal class.
Guests of the state and federal government, joined Genting Hong Kong Chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, in placing lucky coins on the blocks before the gantry crane lowered the 470 tonne section.
"We are here for the keel laying of the second ship of the Global Class," said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. "But more importantly, we start designing and building a new series of ships, the Universal Class. The first ship will be delivered in late 2022. "
The Universal Class ships are designed, built and operated with “Complete Freedom," making cruising more like a land vacation, the company said. At 88,000 gross tons in size and with capacity for 2,000 guests, the ships are large enough to have all the main amenities of larger cruise ships but without the crowded public space and lines of 5,000-plus passenger cruise ships, Genting, said in a press release.
Genting will operate the Universal Class ships for global hotel brands, who want to enter the cruise industry, but are unable to do so as almost all building slots are occupied until the end of the decade, “The major hospitality brands are uncompromising in protecting their brand image and the Universal Class ships are perfect as they carry the most trusted and respected 'Made in Germany' label. They are designed with the highest safety and environmental standards, including LNG propulsion," said Peter Fetten, President and CEO of MV Werften. “We will be an experienced yard by then, having delivered two Global Class ships, the largest to be built in Germany and the Universal Class ships will keep us with a full orderbook till 2024," he added.
The ships of the Global Class are designed for the rapidly growing Asian market. They are operated by the shipping company Dream Cruises, which also belongs to the Genting family and offers worldwide cruises. Amenities include a theme park, including a virtual reality rollercoaster, a multiplex cinema, an Asian spa complementing a European spa, plenty of shopping, restaurants and fast food outlets. With 2,500 cabins, the ships can accommodate up to 5,000 passengers with double occupancy, and even up to 9,500 passengers during holiday periods in Asia.