Only a few days after announcing that it would have to shut down two of its shipyards and lay off over 2,500 workers because of a lack of orders, Italy’s Fincantieri announced in early June that it will build a new cruise ship for P&O Cruises. Scheduled to enter service in March 2015, the 141,000gt ship will have a maximum passenger capacity of 3,611 and will become the flagship of the P&O Cruises fleet. It will also be the largest passenger ship built to date for the British market.

While its twin in-line funnel profile will make it a stand-out, the yet-to-be-named vessel will also incorporate the highest technological standards as well as a stylish interior decor. Micky Arison, Chairman and CEO of the Carnival group, stressed that the ship is being designed ‘specifically’ for the British passenger and British market.

‘P&O Cruises is Britain’s number one cruise operator, synonymous with high quality holidays that celebrate its rich British heritage,’ he remarked. ‘The UK continues to be a key growth market for Carnival, and innovative vessels such as this new P&O Cruises ship underscore our commitment to expanding this important cruise region.’ Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, which has suffered a 55 per cent drop in orders in the recession, said: ‘This order shows that the company is resolutely continuing its commitment in a depressed market.’

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