Steel Cutting Ceremony Begins Countdown to New Cunard Ship

WHY IT RATES: Set to become the fourth in Cunard’s current fleet and enter service in 2022, the as-yet-unnamed vessel will draw on the grandeur and prestige of the company’s 179-year history, while also incorporating innovative, modern luxury elements.—Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer

Today, luxury cruise line Cunard celebrated the beginning of construction on the line’s 249th ship with a steel-cutting ceremony at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard in Italy. The first piece of steel cut will be used as a sculpture displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy and marks a landmark moment in the company’s 179-year history. The as-yet-unnamed ship will be the second largest to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting onboard amenities.

The steel-cutting ceremony marks the commencement of the building process for Cunard’s new ship, which is set to join the fleet in 2022. Fincantieri will house and construct the first section of the new ship. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

“After years of planning and design, we are thrilled to see the building process begin for our newest ship,” says Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “The new ship will be the fourth in our fleet, taking inspiration from our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”

Mr. Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director for Fincantieri, added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”

Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will craft a unique sculpture from the first piece of metal cut from the new ship. Known for using contemporary industrial metal, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fiberglass to create his work, Shendi will commission the work for guests on board to view and enjoy.

Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.”

Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings available next year. With construction underway, Creative Director and globally acclaimed designer, Adam D. Tihany, will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a new standard of Cunard luxury. The award-winning design team also includes Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio, Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie of Sybille de Margerie Paris. During the week’s ceremonies, Cunard released a video charting the progress made on the new ship over the past two years through the eyes of the design team. View the video, “Our Story So Far,” here.

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SOURCE: Cunard press release.

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