Countdown to New Cunard Ship Begins as First Steel is Cut

Build starts today at Fincantieri's Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard on Cunard's 249th ship

First piece of steel cut will be used to create a stunning sculpture that will be displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy

London, 11 October, 2019

Cunard and Fincantieri today celebrated the start of construction on the 249th ship of the luxury cruise line, marking an exciting moment in the company's 179-year history.

The yet unnamed ship, which is being built to meet the growing global demand in luxury cruising, is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities.

The first section of the ship is under construction at Fincantieri's Castellammare di Stabia ship yard. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard's popular and world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

The steel cutting ceremony is a keystone-event in the life of Cunard's new ship, marking the commencement of building works that will culminate in its delivery in Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, in 2022.

Of the occasion, Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard said, "After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship. The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century. The new ship is taking inspiration from the successes of 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, Castellammare Shipyard Director, 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."

Cunard used the auspicious occasion to announce the commissioning of a unique sculpture, masterly crafted from the first piece of metal cut for the new ship. Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will complete the work, which will be displayed on board the ship for Cunard's guests to enjoy. Shendi is an Egyptian-born, British sculptor and uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.

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."

With construction underway, the new ship's interior designers will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a one of a kind on board experience. Led by globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany, the award winning design team includes Simon Rawlings (David Collins Studio), Terry McGillicuddy (Richmond International) and Sybille de Margerie (Sybille de Margerie Paris). Each brings experience from various world-class international hotels and resorts with the aim of delivering a new standard of Cunard luxury.

Cunard's new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings commencing next year. For more information about Cunard see: www.cunard.co.uk

About Fincantieri
Fincantieri is one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups and number one for diversification and innovation. It is leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega yachts, as well as in ship repairs and conversions, production of systems and mechanical and electrical component equipment and after-sales services. With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 vessels built, Fincantieri has always kept its management offices, as well as all the engineering and production skills, in Italy.

With over 8,900 employees in Italy and a supplier network that employs nearly 50,000 people, Fincantieri has enhanced a fragmented production capacity over several shipyards into strength, acquiring the widest portfolio of clients and products in the cruise segment. To hold its own in relation to competition and assert itself at global level, Fincantieri has broadened its product portfolio becoming world leader in the sectors in which it operates.

With globalization, the Group has around 20 shipyards in 4 continents, over 19,000 employees and is the leading Western shipbuilder. It has among its clients the world's major cruise operators, the Italian and the US Navy, in addition to several foreign navies, and it is partner of some of the main European defense companies within supranational programs. Fincantieri's business is widely diversified by end markets, geographical exposure and by client base, with revenue mainly generated from cruise ship, naval and Offshore and Specialized vessel construction. Compared with less diversified players, such diversification allows it to mitigate the effects of any fluctuations in demand on the end markets served. www.fincantieri.com

About Cunard
Cunard is a luxury British cruise line, renowned for creating unforgettable experiences around the world. Cunard has been a leading operator of passenger ships on the North Atlantic, since 1840, celebrating an incredible 180 years of operation in 2020. A pioneer in transatlantic journeys for generations, Cunard is world class. The Cunard experience is built on fine dining, hand-selected entertainment and outstanding service. From five-star restaurants and in-suite dining to inspiring guest speakers, the library and film screenings, every detail has been meticulously crafted to make the experience unforgettable. There are currently three Cunard ships, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria with destinations including Europe, the Caribbean, the Far East and Australia. In 2017, Cunard announced plans to add a fourth ship to its fleet that will be launched in 2022. This investment is part of the company's ambitious plans for the future of Cunard globally and will be the first time since 2000 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service. Cunard is based at Carnival House in Southampton and has been owned by Carnival Corporation since 1998.

Cunard press release