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Europe celebrates five new cruise ships in a single month

Europe celebrated the christenings of a record number of new cruise ships in the last month, as international cruise lines took delivery of five new vessels built in European shipyards.

The five new ships, which represent a total investment of more than £1.6bn and carry a combined total 14,191 passengers, will significantly boost the capacity of the five cruise lines which took delivery of their new vessels in recent weeks.

MSC Divina
The christening ceremony of MSC Divina in Marseilles

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, European Cruise Council chairman, said: “The successful launch of no fewer than five magnificent new ships in just one month underlines the importance of the cruise industry to the entire European region in terms of new investment, technological research and thousands of jobs in shipyards and with contractors.

“These five ships symbolize the strong growth of an industry that is responsible for 300,000 jobs in Europe”.

Four christenings were celebrated in May with festive gatherings in the European ports of Venice (Italy) for the Costa Fascinosa, Hamburg (Germany) for the AIDAMar, Vilshofen (Germany) for the AmaCerto, and Marseilles (France) for the MSC Divina. The fifth ship, the Carnival Breeze, sailed on its maiden voyage from Venice (Italy) to Barcelona (Spain) on 3 June before travelling across the ocean for a christening ceremony in Miami (USA).

Christine Duffy, the Cruise Lines International Association president, said: “We are proud to welcome these superb new ships into the world’s cruising fleet, representing the best of European elegance and maritime knowhow.”

Almost all the world’s new state-of-the-art cruise liners are built in European shipyards. The new ships christened and launched last month themselves range in scale from an elegant river cruiser carrying 160 passengers, to ocean-going liners carrying several thousand people.

All the ships are showcases of the creativity and ingenuity of Europe’s time-honoured and dynamic shipbuilding industry, offering cruise passengers the latest in holiday comfort, convenience and entertainment.

Costa Fascinopsa
The Costa Fascinosa was one of the five new ships christened

According to the ECC’s 2011 report, titled “The Cruise Industry – Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Economies of Europe”, European shipyards are currently working on orders for about 20 new ships with a combined capacity of more than 60,000 passengers and worth a total of more than £8bn. Those ships will be delivered to cruise lines around the world during the next two to three years.

The five new ships

  • Costa Fascinosa, christened in Veniceon 5 May
  • AIDAMar, christened in Hamburg on 12 May
  • AmaCerto, christened in Vilshofen, Germany on 16 May
  • MSC Divina, christened in Marseilles on 26 May
  • Carnival Breeze, maiden voyage from Venice,  3 June

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