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SHI Opens an Era of Cruise Shipbuilding in Korea

- Samsung Heavy Industries Breaks New Ground for the Korean Shipbuilding Industry, Ending the Long-Term Domination of the Cruise Ship Market by EU Shipbuilders
- Company Pioneers Premium Apartment-Type Cruise Ship Market, with Residential Cabins

Following a USD 1.1 billion bid, Samsung Heavy Industries was selected as the sole contractor to build a cruise ship for Utopia, a US-based cruise owner and operator, on November 30th, 2009. Samsung Heavy Industries has announced that it will now become the first Korean company to advance into the cruise ship market, a market considered to be the last remaining stronghold for EU shipbuilders.
The cruise ship that Samsung Heavy Industries has been contracted to build is a new-concept apartment-type cruise ship, which will combine leading-edge shipbuilding and architectural technologies. Differing from regular cruise ships, which are operated for short-term travelers who travel for about ten days, apartment-type cruise ships are characterized by the sale of cabins to individuals who then can enjoy long-term trips at their own summer houses.

This type of cruise ship is not aimed at regular travelers, but at a small and elite market. The ship will drop anchor in countries hosting large global events such as the World Cup, the Olympic Games and the Cannes Festival for months, in order to enable passengers to enjoy cultural experiences in a leisurely manner.
While the area of a typical cabin on a regular cruise ship is 23㎡ (7 pyeong), the apartment-type cruise ships include 204 hotel suites and 200 apartment-type cabins with areas ranging from 132㎡ (40 pyeong) to 594㎡ (180 pyeong). Cabins are like premium apartments, as each cabin includes two or three bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, as well as a high-speed Internet network and a bar.

Unlike other cruise ships in the same size range that accommodate more than 3,000 passengers, this cruise ship limits the number of passengers to 900, providing a more pleasant environment for the passengers. Customers can also design their cabin according to their tastes.

Samsung Heavy Industries announced that it will enter into the contract in the 1st half of 2010, and deliver the ship to the client in 2013 after fixing detailed specifications through design development.
Discussing how the company successfully advanced into the cruise shipbuilding market, a goal of Korean shipbuilding companies for many years, a spokesperson for SHI highlighted the company's thorough preparations over the past 13 years, and the synergies created through the expertise it gained during the construction of Tower Palace and Chereville, Samsung's premium residential complexes, and Lafolium, the premium town house.
As preparation for cruise shipbuilding, Samsung Heavy Industries has grown as a company through the experience of building eight large passenger ships; has developed a database of core technologies related to noise, vibrations, interior design, lifesaving devices and fire extinguishers for global cruise ships; developed its own design for a cruise ship; and developed the navigation control system, since launching its Passenger Ship Team in 1997.

The large passenger ship that Samsung Heavy Industries delivered to a client in the Netherlands in 2005 was named the world’s best passenger ship of that year, and the company also built its credibility by developing an eco-friendly passenger ship that reduced gas emissions by more than 90% in July 2009. The company’s successful cruise shipbuilding market entry can also be attributed to these accomplishments above reasons. 
Industry experts have long been highlighting the need for domestic shipbuilders to enter the cruise shipbuilding market, considering the fact that China has accelerated the growth of its bulk ship and oil tanker businesses. Experts predict that domestic shipbuilders will receive orders for about 13 cruise ships (USD 12 billion) starting in 2010.

According to ShipPax Information, the passenger ship magazine published in Sweden, the number of global cruise ship passengers in 2008 was 20 million, with steady growth of 6% despite the global financial crisis. The magazine predicted that the market will grow by over 6.5% in the coming year, prompted by the rise of the new rich in China and India.

Vice Chairman of Samsung Heavy Industries Kim Jing-wan commented, "As the Korean shipbuilding industry needs to advance into the cruise ship market if it is going to maintain its No. 1 position in the global shipbuilding market, Samsung Heavy Industries aims to surprise the world with the exceptional quality of this apartment-type cruise ship, and lay a foundation for new growth of the Korean shipbuilding industry."

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