A ceremony has been held at a Fincantieri shipyard to officially mark the beginning on the construction of the newest P&O ship, which will be the largest cruise ship that has ever been built for the British market.
The keel-laying ceremony was held on the 15th May at the Monfalcone shipyard near Trieste. It was attended by various agents and officials and marks the beginning of a two-year construction process that will see the 141,000 gross ton ship begin sailings in 2015.
The new P&O ship is yet to be named, but will combine the best features of the existing fleet along with some new contemporary touches to create the ultimate British cruise ship. Hotel designers Richmond have been brought in to oversee the design, meaning it will be the first ship in the fleet with a consistent theme throughout.
Speaking at the event, CEO of Carnival UK David Dingle said “Each of our new ships has been exclusively designed for the British market. We have ensured that each anticipates the subtly changing trends in what British passengers expect from their cruise holiday – and is equipped to meet those expectations for many years to come. Our success in adapting to the market’s changing needs is why our ships continue to fill and why the whole cruise sector ultimately continues to buck any downward trend. We cannot wait to see this ship finished and underway.”
Meanwhile the Fincantieri Shipyard Director Carlo De Marco said “We are proud to be on the world stage together with P&O Cruises in this endeavour, which will undoubtedly be a marvellous opportunity not only for Monfalcone shipyard but for Fincantieri as a whole. Indeed, this is another occasion to further strengthen our relationship with this well-established ship owner. It will be an honour and a pleasure, to celebrate in 2015 the delivery of this ship and together the tenth anniversary of the collaboration between P&O Cruises and Fincantieri, started in 2005 with Arcadia.”
By Ian Lewis