The well-known German cruise company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises took delivery of its first cruise ship built by VARD Langsten in April 2019. Hanseatic Nature is one of three ships designed to carry cruise passengers from the northern to the southern polar region. The new ships, which have space for up to 230 passengers, have been fitted out for cruising in both polar and warmer waters like the Amazon.
When the contract for the third ship was signed on 3 July 2018, VARD CEO and President Roy Reite stated the following in a press release:
“It is encouraging to see returning customers such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, which bears testament to the quality of our vessels and services. We currently have two vessels under construction to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in 2019, and it is our honour to be awarded with this latest contract for their new luxury expedition cruise vessel.”
The first of the three ships has now been delivered and deployed.
Important for the district
VARD Langsten’s order books are full for many years to come, and the town of Tomrefjord now has to prepare for a significant increase in its population of around 1,000. Over the coming months, 1,500 staff will start work the yard.
Vestnes municipality mayor Geir Inge Lien, currently an acting member of parliament representing the Centre Party, underlines the importance of VARD Langsten to the region, and the significance of the shipbuilding industry in general to the municipality and the district as a whole.
“I am pleased that qualified specialist workers are in demand again. This gives our young people an opportunity to find work locally. In addition, full-scale operation at the yard is having positive ripple effects on the community, in the form of increased demand for goods and services from local suppliers,” he says.
The Centre Party politician underlines the importance of policy instruments which support job creation in the regions.
“Schemes which help make our shipyards more competitive are important for the nation as a whole, and also represent good regional policy,” he concludes.
Looking to Norway
Export Credit Norway is providing loan financing for the three ships, supported by a consortium of guarantors comprising GIEK, KFW-Ipex Bank, Commerzbank and BNP Paribas. Export Credit Norway’s Senior Vice President Laila Johnsen is very pleased that the cruise line has chosen a Norwegian shipyard to build its new series of cruise ships.
“There is no doubt that Norwegian shipbuilding expertise and, not least, the delivery capacity of Norwegian yards are vital to success in the face of tough international competition, but I also believe that our financing solutions are making a positive contribution,” she says.
She has noted that shipping companies with advanced technological and quality requirements are looking to Norway.
“The fact that customers looking for top quality are coming to us represents recognition of Norway’s strong position as a shipping nation. Although the yard at Vestnes was founded as far back as 1945, contracts like this one demonstrate that both VARD and other Norwegian shipbuilders remain at the forefront of developments, and that shipping companies consider it cost effective to award contracts to Norwegian suppliers.”
High quality standards
All of the ships in the Hanseatic series will have the highest ice classification given to passenger vessels – Polar Class 6 standard. In addition, the ships meet very stringent environmental requirements imposed as a condition of passage through vulnerable areas.
The Hanseatic series has also been awarded a five star rating by the highly respected Berlitz Cruise Guide. The ship will visit the Arctic in the summer, the Antarctic in the winter and warmer regions such as the Amazon and the Azores in spring and autumn. Hanseatic Nature’s current position can be seen on CruiseMapper.