The first section, measuring 22 meters long, 26 meters wide and weighing 410 tons—about half of the full keel—marks the start of construction.
Approximately 1,000 shipyard employees, partners and guests from the worlds of business and politics attended. They included Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig, Minister of Economic Affairs Harry Glawe, Genting Hong Kong chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay and group president Colin Au, Dream Cruises president Thatcher Brown and MV Werften CEO Peter Fetten.
All participated in placing lucky coins before the 95-meter high gantry crane lowered the section into place.
New opportunities for suppliers
'The construction of cruise ships is challenging, but above all it offers great opportunity for MV Werften and opens up new opportunities for many suppliers in our state as well. I am delighted that all three locations—Wismar, Stralsund and Warnemünde—are benefiting from the shipyards' new path,' Schwesig said.
Digital technology for savvy Asian market
'The Global class is designed from the keel upwards for the Asian-sourced market, which requires more exciting public areas and larger cabins than traditional cruise ships and, supported by the world's leading technology and digital systems for Asians, who are more used to digital technology,' Lim said. 'Owning the shipyard means greater flexibility in incorporating the latest technical advancements for MV Werften to build the best cruise ship in the world,' he added.
'We are creating something truly great,' Fetten said. 'After an intensive engineering and design phase, today's keel-laying marks the next stage of the manufacturing process of MV's first giant, its dock assembly. We would like to thank all of our employees and partners for the work already completed on this ambitious project and look forward to the continued successful collaboration with Genting and Dream Cruises.'
Building in Wismar and Rostock
Construction of the ship, which will measure 342 meters long and more than 46 meters wide, will take place in parallel in Wismar and Rostock. The 220-meter-long midship will be manufactured in Rostock. It will be moved to Wismar in 2019, where the bow and stern, as well as the superstructures, will be mounted. The 2,500 passenger cabins produced by MV Werften Fertigmodule in Wismar will also be installed in Wismar.
A total of around 600 companies will be involved in the construction process.
Theme park with VR roller-coaster
Among the ship features are a theme park including a roller-coaster with virtual reality, a cineplex, Asian and Western spas, ample shopping facilities, Asian and international dining experiences and fast food restaurants. The 2,500 cabins accommodate up to 5,000 passengers on a twin share basis and can cater up to 9,500 passengers, during peak holiday periods, with sufficient life-saving facilities and width of fire stairs.
Dream Cruises has launched a contest to name the ship.