Posted December. 01, 2009 08:24,
Samsung Heavy Industries yesterday said it will be the first Korean company to build a cruise ship in the country.
Samsung won an order to build a cruise ship for 1.1 billion U.S. dollars from the American company Utopia. After finalizing terms on basic design, Samsung will sign the main contract in the first half of next year and deliver the cruise ship by 2013.
The deal marks Samsungs debut in the cruise ship market, which has been dominated by European shipbuilders. STX Offshore and Shipbuilding of Korea has been making cruise ships in Finland through its subsidiary STX Europe, but Samsung will be the first Korean shipbuilder to build a cruise vessel in Korea.
Samsung will take charge of the entire process at its shipyard in Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province.
The cruise ship will be the new apartment type combining shipbuilding and construction technology, and is expected to become an offshore holiday house for long-term travelers.
Passengers will stay longer than the usual 10 days on the cruise ship.
Rooms will be sold to affluent customers and stays of several months will be allowed in countries hosting large international events such as the World Cup soccer finals or the Olympics. This will allow them more time to enjoy tourism.
The vessel will also have 204 hotel-type and 200 apartment-type rooms between 132 and 594 square meters. In contrast, the size of rooms in ordinary cruise ships is just 23 square meters.
Each apartment-type room will have two to three bedrooms, kitchen and living room as well as high-speed Internet and other facilities found in luxury houses. The apartment-type cruise ship can accommodate up to 900 passengers, while an ordinary cruiser of the same size can take around 3,000.
With Chinese shipbuilders largely overtaking their Korean rivals in volume, experts say Samsungs successful bid could pioneer Koreas entry into the high value-added shipbuilding market.
A Samsung source said, Our successful bid resulted from the synergy between our shipbuilding sector, which thoroughly prepared to build a cruise ship over the past 13 years, and the construction sector, which accumulated know-how in building luxury housing such as Tower Palace and Samsung Chereville.