Germany’s Hapag Lloyd Cruises announced they will build two expedition type ships with Norway’s VARD. A deal had been rumored eariler in the year that VARD agreed to a two ship deal with an anonymous line, but that was quickly confused with their Ponant order.
There still are some speculations as to where it will be built. VARD typically constructs the hulls in their Romanian yard and then outfits them elsewhere. The Hapag ships will in fact be constructed there but there are differing reports on where the ships will be outfitted. VARD has 10 yards total; five in Norway, two in Romania, two in Brazil and one in Vietnam. Tradewinds is saying it will be in Singapore which doesn’t make any sense. IHS Fairplay says it would be finished out in Vard’s Langsten yard in Norway which fits with some of the rumors at least.
For comparison the Ponant ships will be constructed in Romania and outfitted in Norway.
VARD, once an independent Singapore registered company, recently was acquired by Italy’s Fincantieri. The Italian company brings with it decades of knowledge and experience building cruise ships. VARD is trying to diversify it’s portfolio due to the offshore slump and recently got into the cruise ship market by inking a deal with France’s Ponant for 4 ships.