Friday, June 26, 2009
Today there was the launch at Monfalcone shipyard of a new passenger ship built by Fincantieri for the British market: the Azura, destined to become the new flagship of P&O Cruises, a brand in the Carnival Group, the world’s leading cruise operator. Sister to the Ventura which was delivered last year at the same Monfalcone shipyard, the Azura will take to the seas in spring 2010.
Present at the launch ceremony were, on behalf of the shipowner, David Dingle, CEO of Carnival UK and Nigel Esdale, managing director of P&O Cruises, while Fincantieri was represented by Paolo Capobianco, Director of Monfalcone shipyard. Godmother to the ship was Amanda Dowds, wife of Captain Keith Dowds who will command the new flagship.
Weighing in at a gross tonnage of 116,000 tonnes, and at 290 metres long, with 2,180 cabins for 3,118 guests and 1,265 crew, the Azura is a masterpiece of Italian style, a perfect mix of high technology, elegance and exclusive services.

The launching of this new vessel strengthens and consolidates Fincantieri’s ties with P&O Cruises, a prestigious brand targeting high profile customers from the dynamic, sophisticated British market, which in recent years has recorded interesting growth margins.
The Azura is the third ship Fincantieri has built for P&O Cruises, the first being the 82,000 tonne Arcadia, which was built at Marghera shipyard in 2005, followed by the fleet’s former flagship, the 114,000 tonne Ventura delivered in Monfalcone in 2008.

The new vessel will offer a wide range of on-board entertainment: theatres, swimming pools, shops, a wellness centre, restaurants and a large area dedicated to sports lovers: from football to tennis and even a golf course and a trampoline for bungee jumping.

Since 1990 Fincantieri has delivered 49 cruise ships, of which 46 for the six main brands of the Carnival group. A further 13 vessels are under construction at Fincantieri’s yards and due for delivery within 2012.