Flexible Neptun builds longships and FERUs

First FERUs leave Neptun as new river cruisers are booked First FERUs leave Neptun as new river cruisers are booked

Neptun Werft has taken orders for six more135m river cruise ships to build alongside the giant FERUs now in regular production for Meyer, reports Germany correspondent Tom Todd

The Meyer subsidiary said all the 11.45m wide longships would be delivered to Switzerland’s Viking during 2019. It said they will have the same diesel-electric hybrid propulsion systems as earlier longships.

Those ships carried two C32 Caterpillar ACERT engines and two C18 ACERT units as well as C7.1 emergency diesels. They also had four Schottel STP 200 twin propellers and two SPJ 82 RD Pump Jets apiece.

The latest river ships bring to nearly 60 the number Neptun has built for Viking. Last November however Neptun said river cruise ship demand was dropping and indicated it would concentrate production on four floating engine room units (FERUs) a year for Meyer cruise ships from 2018.

Managing director Raimon Strunck told The Motorship at that time "the demand for river cruise ships is declining and we would not be able to keep our yard busy with just them”. Neptun would continue to build river ships if asked, but was refining production to achieve series benefits with the FERUs, he said.

“We want to increase our productivity by at least 25%. The construction of four of these big components equates, in mechanical engineering terms, to building 12 river cruise ships a year,” he declared at the time.

Asked why Neptun was therefore now accepting new river cruise ship orders, Meyer Group spokesman Günther Kolbe told this correspondent:  “We need to remain flexible.”

He also said Neptun had the capacity to build cruise ships and FERUs at the same time and noted the yard’s new 140m x 60m x 45m hall for engine room building, which will be in operation by year’s end.

Neptun has meanwhile delivered its first 120m FERU to Meyer. Complete with Cat dual-fuel engines and components it is for AIDAnova. The second unit, also for AIDAnova, is being delivered in late November.

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