Rolls-Royce Marine Moves Into Cruise Ship Design
Rolls-Royce Marine has entered into a $33 million contract to design and equip two expedition cruise ships for Hurtigruten, to be built by Norwegian yard Kleven.
The news is promising for Rolls-Royce Marine, which saw revenue fall sharply last year due to the downturn in the offshore sector, traditionally its best area for sales. Division president Mikael Mäkinen is responding by trimming head count by 20 percent – but he recently told the Telegraph that he thinks that the market has bottomed out, and that it will turn around from here.
The booming cruise segment may offer a new source of revenue, as it has for other offshore suppliers. Rolls-Royce will provide the hull design, with a wave-piercing bow, and the new ships will showcase its signature Unified Bridge – a streamlined combination of displays and controls offering what the firm describes as "a more comfortable, clutter-free and ultimately more safe and efficient working environment." The firm debuted the design on the Mokster platform supply vessel Stril Luna, delivered in 2014.
Hurtigruten has been in operation since 1893, and is one of the few remaining operators of passenger freighters, vessels that carry cruise tourists and cargo at the same time. CEO Daniel Skjeldam says that it is also the largest operator in the Arctic, the largest line in the “explorer” segment and soon to become the largest in the Antarctic. The investment in two ships from Kleven is its biggest order ever, he says – and it is one of the largest for the yard as well.
Delivery for the 600-passenger ships is scheduled for 2018 and 2019, and Hurtigruten has a contract option for an additional two vessels.