The name of the new expedition cruise ship Crystal Agreement at the MV Werften shipyard in Germany on June 26 was celebrated as a turning point for the shipyard which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. More than a year behind schedule, the 20,200 gross ton ship is the first polar-class expedition cruise ship built in Germany and the first ocean-going ship delivered by the Genting Hong Kong-launched shipyard.
“Crystal AgreementThe German christening ceremony is a sign of Germany’s relaunch as a shipbuilding site and I am honored to be named Godmother, and proud that our region and country play an important role in the history of this unique ship, ”said Manuela Schwesig, Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the region where the shipyard is located. “Our shipyards are innovative and efficient, with highly motivated experts and know-how acquired over decades. MV Werftem employees have successfully led the transformation process from container ship production to special purpose ship building to cruise ship building over the past few years, demonstrating that even under difficult circumstances , they can achieve optimum performance.
In early June, the German Federal Government and the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania provided new funding to help the shipyard continue its activities. MV Werfted closed in spring 2020, blaming COVID-19 restrictions and the impact of supply chains. Last fall, Germany provided initial bridging loans to the shipyard so that work could resume on the near-completed yard. Crystal Agreement. In the new package provided by Germany’s Economic Stabilization Fund, MV Werften received a guaranteed subordinated loan facility of $ 286 million as well as $ 71.5 million in silent participation specifically for the costs of completing the the Crystal Agreement and continued work on Genting’s 208,000 gross tonne Global Dream cruise ship under construction at the shipyard.
Due to construction delays and financial difficulties at Genting Hong Kong, which is the parent company of the shipyard and Crystal Cruises, the company withdrew from a sale-leaseback agreement with Crédit Agricole that had been put in place. in place to finance the Crystal Agreement. As part of the German bailout, Genting is also receiving a $ 374 million post-delivery financing facility for the expedition cruise ship.
“Today is a milestone day as we baptize Crystal Agreement, the first and only Polar Class Six (PC6) expedition yacht to be built in Germany, and a testament to Crystal’s award-winning design and superb German engineering from the MV Werften, ”said Tan Sri Kok Thay Lim, president of Genting Hong Kong.
The cruise ship is part of the industry expansion towards luxury exploration cruises. Measuring 538 feet in length, the company boasts of being the fastest, most capable and spacious expedition mega-yacht in its industry with a passenger space ratio of over 100. Its Polar Class classification PC6 allows her to navigate the Arctic and Antarctic regions and redundancies, including 100% additional lifeboat capacity to deal with extreme polar conditions. It can accommodate a maximum of 200 passengers and offers amenities ranging from six restaurants and a casino to a two-story glass-enclosed solarium, spa and fitness center, and various lounges. For air and sea expeditions, it carries two helicopters, 18 zodiacs, 14 kayaks and a submersible for six passengers. Its maiden voyage is scheduled to begin in Reykjavík on July 17.
Speaking at the ceremonies, Colin Au, President and CEO of Genting Hong Kong, also renewed the company’s vision for the shipyard. In addition to building the two large cruise ships for Genting, they are promoting a plan to build 90,000 gross ton cruise ships carrying 2,000 passengers in a standardized design. Au described a concept in which major hotel brands would purchase and customize marketed cruise ships for their loyalty programs, with Genting Hong Kong overseeing day-to-day operations on a management basis.