Harmony of the Seas: “A feeling of great pride”

Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship built by the STX France shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, will be delivered to Royal Caribbean on 15 May next.

Harmony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship built by the STX France shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, will be delivered to Royal Caribbean on 15 May next. Some 50,000 people are expected to attend this event showcasing the international reputation and shipbuilding expertise of the city, as discussed in the following interview with Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of STX France.

Laurent Castaing directeur STX

Mr. Castaing, what is your overall feeling on the eve of the delivery by STX to Royal Caribbean of the largest cruise ship in the world?

Laurent Castaing: It’s a feeling of great pride, for the personnel of the Saint-Nazaire shipyards and for all our partners.

We must not forget that this ship is one of the most complex constructions ever undertaken by an industrial firm, and that it was completed in record time.

The hallmark of STX France is undoubtedly your capacity for innovation and R&D in designing and building these giants of the seas. How has this capacity been implemented in this latest vessel?

L.C.: First of all, STX France’s capacity for innovation and technical prowess were instrumental in the decision by our customer to award us this contract. More specifically, we promised state-of-the-art technical capabilities and we followed through on that promise.

One of our most outstanding achievements concerns the environmental impact of the Harmony of the Seas, which we have reduced by over 20% compared to ships built a decade ago.

The recent order for four new generation cruise ships is good news for the economy. And it no doubt also confirms the excellence of the expertise available in the Saint-Nazaire Basin?

L.C.: Absolutely. This order for four cruise ships is indeed good news for Saint-Nazaire, since it provides us with an order book that will ensure production at full capacity for around the next ten years. Of course, we would never have received this order if our customer had not been 100% convinced of our ability to design a new generation of cruise ships that offer a distinct competitive advantage. This was one of the determining factors in the awarding of the contract.