May 15, 2013 – 400-tonne keel section was laid today in dry dock at the Monfalcone shipyard at a ceremony to mark the start of building of a new passenger ship for P&O Cruises. The keel laying involved the placement in the dry dock of the first section of the ship’s hull. This section is made up of 6 pre-manufactured blocks, weighs 408 tons and is fitted with 214 tons of pipes, cables, insulation and other equipment.
The 3,611 passenger vessel, due to be launched in March 2015, will be the next flagship of the P&O Cruises fleet, and the largest ever constructed for the British market.
The ceremony was attended by David Dingle, Carnival UK CEO, Carol Marlow, P&O Cruises Managing Director, Enrico Buschi, Fincantieri Chief Operating Officer, and Carlo De Marco, Manager of Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard along with many others. Carol Marlow gave the order to lay the keel with the words: “Diamo il via alla posa del primo blocco della più grande nave, la migliore, mai costruita per il mercato Britannico!” [Please lay the keel of the biggest and best ship ever built for the British market!]
“Incorporating the ultimate in technological standards, the as-yet unnamed ship will stand out for its innovative but classic design that will complement the grandeur of its size. It will also offer an unprecedented range of entertainment activities.The new ship’s exceptional level of passenger comfort reflects the excellence of the P&O style, whose cruises are enjoyed by a particularly high-end customer target in one of the world’s most active and lively cruise markets, namely the British one.”
Fincantieri has built 64 cruise ships since 1990, 31 at the Monfalcone yard and 56 for the different brands of the Carnival Group.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.