The Strasbourg cruise operator, CroisiEurope has ordered three river cruise ships via the marine industrial network, Neopolia of Saint -Nazaire.
The first of these vessels will be 88.80 meters long and will open up new cruising ground on the Loire River. Due to the river’s shallow sections, the vessel will be powered by paddle wheels.
The order was signed by a group of subcontractors, who are part of Neopolia Marine, which includes 49 companies in the shipbuilding industry, and is part of the wider Neopolia network in the Nantes/Saint-Nazaire region, which unites 175 companies in five business sectors including marine renewable energy and offshore.
STX will participate in the construction of the three vessels by making available its expertise and infrastructure for final assembly.
For the first vessel, Neopolia member Mecasoud, a well-known subcontractor for STX, will build the hull. The first sheet-steel will be cut in April. The design was done by the Nantes firm Stirling Design International (SDI) with ShipStudio, and with Naval Architects and engineering firm Arco Marine. Hydrodynamics studies are furnished by HydrOcean.
No details are provided for the following two boats, as the owner is maintaining confidentiality about these due to the highly competitive market.
However, all specifications are revealed for the first vessel, The Loire Princess, whose marketing is already in progress by CroisiEurope since the first cruise will begin on the Loire in April 2015. This leaves a year for the companies in Saint-Nazaire to deliver on time.
The owner describes his new flagship: “this new kind of boat is 90 meters long and 15 meters wide and 3 decks. It features 48 spacious cabins of 15 m2, all with exterior views, accommodating 96 passengers. On the upper deck, they have balconies 3 meters x 1.20 meters. Equipped with the latest technologies, this boat offers maximum comfort – on board: Wi-Fi, in-cabin air conditioning, plasma TV, radio, hairdryer, safe, and minibar. A beautiful dining room can accommodate all passengers at the same service. A large lounge bar with central dance floor offers a nice friendly area and a large sundeck with deckchairs allows cruise passengers to enjoy the outdoors. Elegantly decorated in contemporary tones that are in harmony with spirit of the service, the Loire Princess is labelled a “Green Ship”, and has been designed with an environmental dimension for the most ecological operation.”
As its name suggests, the ship will take passengers on the Loire, the last untamed river in France, where navigation has almost disappeared and no cruise-line has ventured to open up this territory known for its bucolic scenery and famous chateaux. The ship will hail at the cities of Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Ancenis, and Angers, Saumur, Bouchemaine and back.
CroisiEurope Strasbourg is a family company of 1200 employees who operates forty river cruise ships in France, Europe, as well as Vietnam.
Neopolia is an industrial network of 175 companies providing design, engineering and fabrication for marine, marine energy, offshore, rail, and aerospace.