Royal Caribbean contract for Kvaerner Masa-Yard

Kvaerner's Masa-Yard in Finland will build another Voyager-class cruise ship for the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., for delivery in May 2006.

Kvaerner's Masa-Yard in Finland will build another Voyager-class cruise ship for the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., for delivery in May 2006.

The contract is worth at least NOK 5.2 billion.

This will be a ship in the Ultra Voyager class, an even larger ship than the cruise liners previously built for RCCL at Masa-Yard, continuing a shipbuilding tradition of five Voyager-class ships, two Vision-class ships and four earlier ships.

Roughly 15 percent larger than Voyager, the Ultra Voyager will be 126 feet by 1,112 feet (38.6 metres by 339 metres), and will stand 18 stories high while cruising at approximately 22 knots. At 100 percent double-occupancy, it will carry 3,600 guests and 1,400 crew, according to a Kvaerner statement.

"The Voyager-class ships clearly changed the face of cruising," said Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain. "The Ultra Voyager will extend that success and, with a lower per berth capital and operating costs, provides even better economies of scale."

"We are pleased that the partnership and tradition with Royal Caribbean continues," said Jorma Eloranta, President and CEO at Kvaerner Masa-Yards. "The Ultra Voyager will reflect this legacy of trust and support."

Kvaerner Masa-Yards and Royal Caribbean Cruises signed a preliminary agreement last June, outlining the design and specifications of the new ship.

Today's contract formalizes that agreement and results in a capacity growth of about 3% in each of 2006 and 2007 for Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean estimates total-all-in costs to be just over $200,000 per guest berth. This amount includes owner's direct costs, such as the contract price with the shipyard, design and engineering fees, capitalized interest, construction oversight costs, and various owner-supplied items.

Royal Caribbean and Kvaerner Masa-Yards also agreed on an option for a second Ultra Voyager cruise ship, with a 2007 delivery, according to the comapny statement.