Keel laid for Eclipse II, the most luxurious polar cruiser in the world
The keel for the ship worth EUR 170 million, was the first to be laid on the 3. maj ramp after four years and symbolizes the beginning of a fruitful cooperation between the Rijeka dockyard and the Australian Scenic Group, which wants to build a series of luxury cruise ships in Croatia.
In the coming weeks, MKM Yachts, a subsidiary of the Australian Scenic Group in Croatia, in the first phase of works, will strengthen a team of one hundred Croatian shipbuilding engineers and designers who will, in 3. maj, work on the construction of a luxury 6-star vessel, whose delivery deadline is the first quarter of 2023.
The ceremony of laying the keel for the newest ship in Scenic’s fleet, which is being built on the model of “Scenic Eclipse”, the most luxurious polar cruiser in the world built in 2019 in Pula’s Uljanik, and which is the pinnacle of modern technology, was attended on Wednesday by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, accompanied by the Minister of Economy, Tomislav Ćorić, and the Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia, headed by its President, recognized the value of this project and the opportunity to ensure the continuation of business through a new model of shipbuilding financing and to open a new cycle in the history of Croatian shipbuilding in which shipbuilding would be contracted in a completely different way. In addition to the client and the state guarantees given by the Republic of Croatia, the financing for the new construction is monitored by HBOR, OTP, and Credit Suisse.
“The Government of the Republic of Croatia has given full support to the project of building a series of five polar cruisers through the partnership of MKM Yachts and 3. maj, and we have taken all necessary preconditions to ensure the continuation of production in 3. maj. We can say that this project represents a new concept of Croatian shipbuilding that is being developed on the principles of responsibility, transparency, and purposeful use of funds. Today’s laying of the keel for “Eclipse II” is the result of our joint efforts and we believe that with this project and those that will follow it, the crisis in the shipbuilding sector will be behind us and that Rijeka and its workers will once again prove what quality ships are built in 3. maj. I know that this dockyard is a symbol of the City of Rijeka, but it is also a key driver of economic activities for the entire Primorje-Gorski Kotar County“, said Plenković.
With the laying of the keel, intensive works on the construction of the steel hull of “Eclipse II” will begin, and the ship, like its predecessor, will be a top-quality Croatian product. 168 meters long and 21.5 meters wide, it will be built following the strictest environmental standards and will be able to accommodate a total of 220 passengers, and other ships with similar characteristics will stand out with the level of luxury it offers.
“Six years ago in Pula, we had a vision of what kind of ships we want to produce – the most luxurious and technologically advanced polar cruisers that have never been on the market before. Despite all the challenges, we succeeded. We have built a ship that successfully sails all seas, including the polar and tropical seas. The great success of the ship and the feedback from our passengers were outstanding, which further encouraged us and brought the realization that there is a great demand for this type of vessel. I would like to once again thank our partners in 3. maj, as well as the Government of the Republic of Croatia for their support, and personally the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković who recognized our vision and enabled us to realize it in Croatia“, said Glen Moroney, owner of Scenic Group.
The holder of the entire project is the company MKM Yachts d.o.o., part of the Scenic Group, in partnership with 3. maj, which is based on merging two complementary sets of knowledge in shipbuilding. The project, which, in specific pandemic times, has additional weight for the Rijeka dockyard, was commented by mister Edi Kučan, director of 3. maj:
“On behalf of 3. maj, I especially thank the owner of the Scenic Group, Mr. Moroney, as well as the Prime Minister, Mr. Plenković, for his efforts to raise 3. maj like a phoenix from the ashes and that shipbuilding in Rijeka does not become a thing of the past, but present and future to the pride of their City, County, and the whole of Croatia. Today’s event shows that Rijeka has sailed into a new niche of luxury polar cruisers, which we hope will continue to produce in the future in cooperation with MKM Yachts.“
Scenic Group in Croatia started operating in 2015 when it started the project of building “Scenic Eclipse” in Uljanik. At that time, the Pula dockyard was already in big financial trouble, but the Australian company decided not to give up its business vision of building luxury polar cruisers.
Fully taking the risk, Scenic then completed the construction of one of the most complex passenger ships in the world by their own engagement – with a team of about a thousand experts and workers in shipbuilding. It is important to point out that Scenic did not collect the state guarantees from the Republic of Croatia for a ship whose delivery was significantly delayed. Thanks to working with Uljanik, despite the difficulties, Scenic realized the value of the knowledge and skills of Croatian shipbuilders, and the proven quality of the ship and its market success encouraged the company to continue building its luxury ships in Croatia with a story that will contribute to preserving Croatian shipbuilding and related jobs.
The innovative model of cooperation with the Rijeka dockyard has therefore been further expanded by the possibility of building a whole series of polar cruisers with similar characteristics. The project with a total value of more than EUR 860 million represents a new great opportunity for further development and competitiveness of Croatian shipbuilding in a specific niche of luxury polar cruisers.
Tags: polar cruiser, Scenic Eclipse, Saša Čokljat, Glen Moroney, Scenic Group
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