Cunard and Fincantieri today celebrated the start of construction on the 249th ship of the luxury cruise line, marking an exciting moment in the company’s 179-year history.
The yet unnamed ship will be the second largest ship to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities.
The first section of the ship is under construction at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia ship yard. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s popular and world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.
The steel cutting ceremony is a keystone-event in the life of Cunard’s new ship, marking the commencement of building works that will culminate in its delivery in Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, in 2022.
Of the occasion, Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard said, “After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship. The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century. The new ship is taking inspiration from the successes of our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”
Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director, Fincantieri (TBC) added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cundard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”
Cunard used the auspicious occasion to announce the commissioning of a unique sculpture, masterly crafted from the first piece of metal cut for the new ship. Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will complete the work, which will be displayed on board the ship for Cunard’s guests to enjoy. Shendi is an Egyptian-born, British sculptor and uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.
Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”
With construction underway, the new ship’s interior designers will work alongside Fincanteri to deliver a one of a kind on board experience. Led by globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany, the award winning design team includes Simon Rawlings (David Collins Studio), Terry McGillicuddy (Richmond International) and Sybille de Margerie (Sybille de Margerie Paris). Each brings experience from various world-class international hotels and resorts with the aim of delivering a new standard of Cunard luxury.
Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings commencing next year.