Global-class ships are going to Dream Cruises, and ports as far as US

Capacity for a whopping 9,500 passengers, plus cineplex, theme park, facial and voice recognition, and robots 'to perform mundane tasks' Capacity for a whopping 9,500 passengers, plus cineplex, theme park, facial and voice recognition, and robots 'to perform mundane tasks'

Construction for Genting Hong Kong's first 204,000gt Global-class newbuild began Thursday at MV Werften. There Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay revealed this ship and a sister will sail for Dream Cruises, operating summers from Shanghai and Tianjin and the rest of the year in Australia/New Zealand, Southeast Asia and West Coast US.

Until now, the Global-class design had been planned for Star Cruises.

Lim, Genting HK chairman and CEO, instead said the pair of ships will follow the successful introductions of 2016's Genting Dream and 2017's World Dream to give Dream Cruises scalable opportunities.

Besides summers in China, they'll sail to far-flung destinations popular with Asians, such the US West Coast and Australia/New Zealand, to give an 'attractive and affordable alternative to a land vacation.'

The ships will be the biggest ever built in Germany and have double-occupancy capacity for 5,000 passengers each.

But designed for Asian families, multiple berth rooms that can sleep three or four, with two bathrooms, means space for potentially many more; the ship has total lifesaving capacity for up to a whopping 9,500 passengers, Lim said. This would cater for the extremely high peak holiday periods in Asia.

Features particularly appealing to the Asian market are a cineplex, theme park, Asian spa, authentic multiple Asian dining experiences including fast food alternatives and both 'affordable' and luxury shopping facilities.

Lim said the Global design will 'follow the embrace of Asians of artificial intelligence in their daily lives with facial and voice recognition for most services on board and robots to perform mundane tasks, allowing the crew to focus on service delivery.'

It will stretch 342 meters, with a beam of 46.4 meters and a draft of 9.5 meters.

In addition to 28 large elevators, the ship will have eight sets of escalators connecting the public areas. Facial recognition is intended to reduce queuing for boarding, disembarkation and payments, while contextual marketing will even out demand for shipboard facilities.

Lim and the minister president of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Manuela Schwesig, on Thursday launched the flame cutter for the first steel cut in the Wismar yard. Just a few minutes later, first steel was cut in the Rostock yard. Both sites will be needed to manufacture the ship.

Production will take place in parallel at Wismar and Rostock, with final assembly to be carried out in the Wismar yard. The first Global-class ship is to be delivered at the end of 2020.

Approximately 600 companies are involved in the construction.

'After designing the Global-class ships for the last three years and investing over €210 million to make MV Werften the-state-of-the-art cruise shipbuilding yard in the last two years, we are very pleased to finally start construction on the first Global cruise ship today,' Lim said.

'We are manning up to the major challenge to build these magnificent ships and we will use all our skills and expertise to promote "Shipbuilding made in MV" worldwide as a trademark of quality,' added Jarmo Laakso, CEO of MV Werften.

Construction on the second Global-class ship will begin in early 2019 for delivery at the end of 2021.

Posted 08 March 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review

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