Galicia looking for cruise speed
Galician shipbuilding identifies a "golden opportunity" on the luxury boats
"Galicia is in front of a golden opportunity on the luxury market". Galician shipbuilding industry has heard and even pronounced this sentence from a long time ago, but moreover from 2017. In that year was official that Hijos de J. Barreras would build the first Ultra-premium of the world for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Douglas Prothero, Managing Director for this shipowner, insisted yesterday again on shipyards and auxiliary industry “have talent and quality” to gain a name within the market niche “growing very fast nowadays”. So, the expert indicated that principle cruise shipowners “need new places where to build their ships” and believes that it would be possible to build an “excellence centre” on the Galician community and, more concrete, at Vigo’s Bay.
Prothero attended “Building future in Galicia” workshop. Galician industry in front of the luxury cruise construction challenge, so his talk was one of the most expected. The USA company CEO thanked Barreras “for accepted the challenge” the cruise means, and he shown himself as “a hard and demanding customer”.
Organised by Aclunaga (Galician shipbuilding cluster), the territorial delegation of the Official School of Oceanic and Maritime Engineers and DNV-GL, the event showed the different points of view about the cruise market. For that, shipyard representatives counting nowadays with luxury passenger ship orders took part: Hijos de J. Barreras, with the Ritz ship, and Metalships & Docks, with the 138-m sailing boat Sea Cloud Spirit.
Óscar Gómez, General Manager for Aclunaga, pointed out in several occasions Galicia "is ready for this type of projects", something Barreras Business Developer countersigned, Álvaro García, in his turn offered general details about the cruise sector. As he explained, new shipowners’ appearance and new routs have increased orders, that nowadays hoard mainly three European builders: STX, Fincantieri and Meyer, with an orderbook of 87 vessels. Moreover, 200 m-Length vessels were identified as the most interesting niche, but “facilities improvement" is needed.
Alberto Iglesias, General Director for Metalships, focused his talk about existing difficulties when getting financing for the ships. Mr. Iglesias miss a greater banking specialization on this matter, and he explained it is "extremely complex" to finance high value ships.
Another point of view was the one shown by Anxo Diéguez, Martínez Otero, and Ramón Valdivieso, from Navaliber. Their speech was focus on the luxury ships outfitting after getting the Ritz passengers cruise cabins (as FARO published) and the challenge meant to be "un special order".
The workshop was opened by Natalia Barros, from Igape; Enrique López Veiga, President for the Port, and José J. de Troya Calatayud, the Maritime Engineering School dean. Mayor Abel Caballero welcome attendants before working tables highlighting “Vigo always answers to reliance" given to shipowners and, pointing to Prothero, indicated that "if there were more cruises, we will perform them satisfactorily".
(Source: Faro de Vigo)