Cruise windfall from Libya turmoil?

//Cruise windfall from Libya turmoil?

fantasia2.jpgThe turmoil in Libya has already had a significant effect on the cruise industry, as ships have had to change itineraries and cancel calls at ports in the troubled north African country.
There’s now a chance that an astute entrepreneur could take advantage of the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, which had its own cruise ship under construction in a French shipyard.
Workers at the STX yard in St Nazaire began constructing the 139,400-ton vessel in December last year, but the contract with GNMTC, Libya’s state-owned shipping company, was cancelled in June because of missed payments. Gaddafi’s fourth son, Hannibal, was a consultant to GNMTC, which also operates oil tankers and LPG (liquified petroleum gas) carriers.
The cruise ship, to be named Phoenicia and designed to carry 3,478 passengers, was scheduled for delivery in December 2012. The design is based on the Fantasia class built for Italian cruise company MSC whose chief executive, Pierfrancesco Vago, said last week that the ship would fit nicely into his own fleet.
As well as Fantasia (above), launched in 2008, and Splendida (2009) MSC has a third ship in the class, Divina, under construction at the STX yard. It was floated out of dry-dock this weekend and is scheduled for delivery next June.
Although STX are insured against losses resulting from the cancellation of the GNMTC contract, they are confident of finding a buyer for the partly-completed hull, and are sure to be hoping that another operator will emerge to rival MSC’s bid.
A spokesperson told Seatrade Insider all the steel has been cut for Phoenicia and the hull is at an advanced stage of construction, adding: “We remain open to any negotiation, as we need to find a buyer.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:01+00:00 4 September 2011|Cruise Ships|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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