Meyer Werft launches new building for NYK Cruises

Caption: The shipyard and NYK Cruises teams at the keel-laying ceremony. (© Meyer Werft)

The keel of the “Asuka III” has been laid at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg – the first ship for the Japanese shipping company NYK.

NYK had ordered the newbuild in 2021 – an important sign for the shipyard in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic[ds_preview].

Following the start of construction in September, the traditional keel-laying ceremony has now taken place. With the lowering of the first steel block into building dock I in hall 5, the assembly of the ship’s hull has now begun. The component, weighing 345 tons, is 12.8 m wide, 24.6 m long and 7.4 m high.

“With today’s keel laying, we are celebrating the next important milestone in the construction of the ‘Asuka III’. We are all proud to build this special cruise ship for the Japanese market. The special feature of designing the ship to meet the needs and requirements of Japanese passengers is unique,” said Managing Director Jan Meyer.

NYK emphasizes good cooperation

Hiroyuki Endo, President of NYK Cruises, emphasized that he appreciates the ongoing cooperation with the shipyard’s team. “I am confident that with their continued support, we will successfully complete the launch in 2025.”

For the new cruise ship, the shipyard intends to use “numerous solutions tailored to the Japanese market”. These include, for example, the spa areas, which will be specially developed according to Japanese wishes and habits. In addition, the “Asuka III” is the first passenger ship in around 30 years to be built under the supervision of the Japanese flag state.

The ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Delivery of the 52,000 GT ship is planned for 2025. It will offer space for around 740 passengers.

NYK, with more than 37,000 employees, is one of the largest shipping companies in the world and is primarily active in the container, RoRo and bulk markets with 700 ships. NYK Line’s current cruise ship is the “Asuka II”, which was delivered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1990 and is the largest cruise ship in Japan, serving a premium and luxury segment.

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