MIAMI — Following its groundbreaking acquisition of Silversea Cruises earlier this year, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced that it will build three new ships for the luxury line, coming as early as 2020.
Silversea signed a memorandum of understanding with German shipbuilder Meyer Werft to build two new vessels in a new ‘Evolution Class’. The first Evolution-class ship is expected to deliver in 2022.
In addition, Silversea signed a contract with Dutch shipbuilder Shipyard De Hoop to construct a brand new expedition vessel named Silver Origin, which will serve the Galapagos Islands itinerary currently sailed by Silver Galapagos. The new vessel is set for delivery in March 2020.
“We are excited to get to work to helping Silversea grow and realize its ambitions,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which finalized its two-thirds acquisition of Silversea this past summer. “There is tremendous potential in the ultra-luxury and expedition markets of the cruise industry, and we believe discerning travellers will embrace the exciting designs Silversea is imagining for them.”
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Silversea’s Executive Chairman, added: “With our guests in mind, we are pushing the boundaries of ultra-luxury cruising, as well as expedition cruising in the Galapagos Islands and beyond, redefining the concept of immersive travel.”
The agreements are subject to certain contingencies, which are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
It was first announced in August that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., had purchased 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises, based on an enterprise value of approximately US$2 billion. Manfredi d’Ovidio retains a 33.3% stake.
The news about the new builds follows last week’s arrival of the Silver Spirit in Quebec City for the first time. Travelweek was there to view the recently renovated ship, which was lengthened by 49 feet in May, becoming the first luxury cruise ship to successfully undergo a lengthening.