Cruise News – Queen Elizabeth hits the water and Silversea considers another newbuild

Jan 14, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Silversea says it is considering another new ship

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Silver Spirit on sea trials in the Adriatic

Luxury cruise ship operator Silversea, whose SILVER WIND is currently visiting South Africa and Mozambican ports on an extended Southern African cruise, is giving consideration to an option on a new ship.

Silversea President Amerigo Perraso said during the recent launching of the company’s latest ship, the 540-passenger SILVER SPIRIT (36,009-gt), that if the new arrival “sells well” an option on another vessel could be taken. He said Silversea needed time to digest the new ship but sales were indicating there is room for another.

Perraso said the market was strong. Indications were that Silversea would exceed 70% of its 2010 revenue plan. “We are usually happy if we achieve 60%, so it shows how strong the (cruise) market is.”

Silver Spirit is due to be christened in Fort Lauderdale on 21 January.

New Queen Elizabeth takes to the water

Special ceremonies were held at Italy’s Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard on 5 January to mark the launching of Cunard’s latest ship, QUEEN ELIZABETH (92,000-gt). On of these was the welding of three coins under the mast in time honoured tradition. The first coin was a 1938 half crown commemorating the launching in that year of Cunard’s first Queen Elizabeth. The second coin was a 1967 sovereign matching the launch date of Queen Elizabeth 2, and the third a 2010 sovereign acknowledging the new Queen Elizabeth.

Afterwards the dignitaries moved to the dockside where a bottle of Italian prossecco was broken over the ship’s hull and the appropriate words spoken, before the dock gates opened to allow water to flood the dry dock.

“It is only a little over six months since the keel for this great ship was laid. In that short time, a solitary block at the bottom of the dry dock has, as a result of the skill and discipline of the workforce here at Fincantieri, grown into this awe-inspiring vessel,” said Peter Shanks, Cunard’s managing director.

“Even in her present unfinished state, devoid of the carpets and curtains, furnishings and facilities, paintings and porcelain that we associate with a Cunard luxury liner, she is awesome. Of our 170 years of history, there has been an 'Elizabeth' in the fleet for more than 70 and this ship - the second largest Cunarder ever built - will take the name far into the 21st Century.”

Queen Elizabeth will begin her first voyage from Southampton in October this year, sailing to Vigo, Lisbon, Tenerife and Funchal. She will later take up cruising to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean before leaving on her maiden 103-day world cruise commencing on 5 January 2011.



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