Kvaerner, the international engineering and construction Group, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the health resort company Canyon Ranch (Tucson, Arizona, USA), to build two luxury spa/health resort cruise ships, for a total value of EUR 450 million. The two passenger vessels, each of about, 37,000 gross tons, are to be built by Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland, and are due for delivery in 2004 and 2005, respectively.
A final shipbuilding contract will be entered into after Canyon Ranch has completed the financing of the acquisition and after other terms and conditions are fulfilled. Canyon Ranch, founded in 1979, has over the years become one of the world's most celebrated health resorts. In November 2001 Cunard (owned by Carnival Corporation) announced the selection of Canyon Ranch to be responsible for the design and operations of the spa, beauty salon, wellness and fitness facilities on board their new flagship Queen Mary 2. The 150,000-tonne luxury cruise liner is expected to enter service in 2004. Over the last two years Canyon Ranch has developed detailed plans to transfer its highly successful health resort concept onboard two purpose built luxury cruise liners.