Small German cruise ships to beat Asia

18 Oct 2011
‘Crown Odyssey’: one of the smallest cruise ships built by Meyer

‘Crown Odyssey’: one of the smallest cruise ships built by Meyer

Ro-ro builder FSG has revealed that it and fellow German yard, cruise ship builder Meyer Werft, are working to develop new types of smaller ‘adventure’ cruise ships to beat rising Asian competition in the sector.

Tom Todd writes: FSG (Flensburger Schiffbaugesellschaft), said to be the largest builder of ro-ro ships, said in the latest issue of its house magazine FSG-Journal that competition was growing among Asian yards themselves. It added that those yards were now making greater efforts to access markets for technologically demanding ships, including the markets of the prestigious Meyer Werft, which has long warned of Asian inroads into European shipbuilding. The publication noted that FSG’s main competitors were also in Asia.

Because of this competition, Meyer and FSG were seeking to “bundle and strengthen their capabilities” the FSG-Journal said. “Meyer and FSG are jointly developing an offer covering small cruise ships for an American shipping company”, it reported. It described the ships as ‘expedition ships’ but gave no further details and did not name the interested American owner.

FSG-Journal quoted FSG MD Peter Sierk saying such ships were operating successfully and lucratively in regions of spectacular natural beauty like the southern Atlantic and Arctic. Curiously one of the most successful small German-owned ‘adventure’ cruise ships is the Japanese-built HLKF veteran Berlin, just 111 m long and of 6,752gt.

Sierk said FSG had already co-operated with Meyer in the past and noted “many parallels in our products and working practices”. He also said that a combined freight/passenger ferry of the type built by FSG “contained some 90% of the complexity of a cruise ship” and he noted that FSG had also built ferries with decks “of cruise ship standard”.

In Papenburg, Meyer spokesman Peter Hackmann would not confirm the FSG report . He told The Motorship: “we regularly work with FSG on research projects, but there is no inherently new co-operation”. One of the smallest cruise ships ever built by Meyer has been the 187.7m, 34,200gt Crown Odyssey in 1989, now serving with Fred Olsen as Balmoral.

Links to related companies and recent articles ...

Meyer Werft GmbH

view more