Following delivery of the 2,800-passenger LNG-powered fast ferry Megastar operating under the brand Tallink Shuttle between Tallink and Helsinki tomorrow, the shipyard will concentrate solely on large cruise ship construction. Pulli said that the shipyard’s strategy will be to focus on vessels of 150,000 gt and above.
He admitted to some concern over Asian yards’ advances on the cruise sector. 'We have to be faster, focus on energy efficiency, and stay a step ahead,' he said, citing investment in automation and new welding technology at Meyer Turku.
He also highlighted a project to adopt fuel cell technology in future cruise ship power systems and the yard is understood to be working with Royal Caribbean International on this.
The cruise line could introduce fuel cells on its two unconfirmed Icon-class vessels which are likely to have a tonnage of about 200,000 gt or slightly more. If confirmed, it is understood that these ships would be delivered in 2022 and 2024.
Last year’s contracting spree followed a cruise sector downturn and it will take the yard another two years to reach production levels attained in 2010. However, the deputy ceo revealed that the yard is taking on a significant number of new recruits and has established its own in-house training set-up similar to an apprenticeship programme.
Following delivery of Megastar this week, the shipyard’s firm orderbook will consist of three 99,500gt Mein Schiff vessels for TUI Cruises, two 180,000gt ships for Costa Cruises and two 180,000gt ships for Carnival Cruise Line.