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cunard steel-cutting
From left, Carnival UK President Josh Weinstein, yard director Gilberto Tobaldi and Cunard President Simon Palethorpe push the button to commence steel-cutting PHOTO: Fincantieri

Fincantieri cuts steel for Cunard’s 2022 newbuild

Cunard and Fincantieri today celebrated the start of construction for the 249th ship in the line’s 179-year history.

Second largest to fly the Cunard flag

The yet unnamed 113,000gt, 322.51-meter vessel will be the second largest to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to debut in April 2022. It will have 1,502 passenger cabins and 666 crew cabins.

'Forward-looking take on the Cunard experience'

'The design of our newest ship will take the most popular elements of the three Queens and blend them with a forward-looking, modern take on the Cunard experience,' Cunard President Simon Palethorpe said.

'And we have a great builder,' he added. 'I can say this because from the start of Cunard’s relationship with Fincantieri, way back in 2004, right up to this day we have witnessed the organization’s professionalism and ability to deliver exceptional Cunarders.'

The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

‘We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cundard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months,’ said Gilberto Tobaldi, director of Fincantieri's Castellammare di Stabia yard.

Sam Shendi sculpture

Cunard used the steel-cutting occasion to announce the commissioning of a sculpture crafted from the first piece of metal cut for the ship. Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will complete the work, which will be displayed on board. Shendi is an Egyptian-born, British sculptor who uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.

Shendi called the commission an exciting opportunity to create an artwork that will travel the world on the ship connecting passengers from all corners of the globe.

The ship’s interior design is led by Adam D. Tihany, whose team includes Simon Rawlings (David Collins Studio), Terry McGillicuddy (Richmond International) and Sybille de Margerie (Sybille de Margerie Paris). Each brings experience from various world-class international hotels and resorts.

Castellammare di Stabia-Monfalcone joint effort

The first section, a 6,700-ton piece of the forward hull, is under construction at Castellammare di Stabia. It will be launched in October 2020 and transferred to Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard where the keel-laying ceremony will be held the following month.

Meanwhile, Monfalcone will have started constructing the rest of the ship, and the sections will be joined there to form the complete 25,000-ton hull and superstructure. The newbuild will be launched in April 2021 and outfittting will continue prior to sea trials, then delivery in April 2022. The Fincantieri group's marine interiors company is providing the cabins, and other Italian companies will outfit the ship under the design of the Cunard interiors team.

Technical details

The newbuild will be equipped with a propulsion and electrical power generation package of four MaK Caterpillar diesel engines providing a total of 50.4 MW and  two 14.5 MW Azipods.

The highly efficient hull design will enable an 18-knot cruising speed and 22-knot maximum speed to sustain the trans-Atlantic voyages that distinguish Cunard, said Guido Cucciniello, Fincantieri's ship program manager. There will be particular attention to the environmental aspect, with four scrubber systems and ample LED technology.

Lloyd's Register is the classification society.

Bookings for the ship are to open next year.