Bids For Double Conversion
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Bids For Double Conversion


Costa Crociere has put out to tender the largest conversion project ever proposed for a cruise vessel, with at least half-a-dozen shipyards showing interest in the potential $40m contract.
Europe's leading cruise operator, jointly owned by Carnival Corp and British partner Airtours, is looking at increasing the 55,000 gt sisterships Costa Classica and Costa Romantica to some 75,000 gt by lengthening the vessels and adding a deck. The contract would be based on the conversion of one vessel with the second as an option. The cost per cruiseship is estimated to be in the region of $20m.
Yards have been requested to make their bid on the basis that work on the first vessel should be completed by early 2000. The project, developed by Costa's Monte Carlo-based technical office, would see the Costa Classica increasing her berth capacity by over 50%, with the number of cabins growing by some 370 to about 1,020 from the current 654. Many of the new cabins would be fitted with balconies. The project would see the vessel lengthened by some 44.8 m, while a new deck would also be added along the entire length of the vessel. The power plant would also be increased, with the likely addition of new engines.
Another option being considered is that of placing a newbuilding order. A decision to lengthen the two cruiseships would result in the same number of berths as a newbuilding of 75,000 gt, and at more or less the same cost after taking into account cruise revenue lost by the vessels during work at the yard. The huge advantage would be that of having additional berths available much earlier than by ordering a new vessel, whose delivery would be late in 2002 or early 2003.
(Lloyd's List -- 03-01-99, p. 1)


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