Luxury cruise liner’s launch delayed as dozens of ships face potential safety hazard


The launch of the world’s newest luxury cruise liner has been delayed because of faulty fire-resistant panels, sending shockwaves across the shipbuilding industry after it emerged dozens of other ships at sea were also affected, Report informs referring to the Financial Times.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri was first informed at the end of May that a supplier had lost its safety certification for one type of panel used to equip Explora I, a 248-meter-long vessel to be delivered to Swiss cruise operator MSC, according to people with knowledge of the communication.

Helsinki-based Paroc, the supplier, subsequently informed Fincantieri that a second type of panel had lost its certification, said the people, who declined to be identified because of potential liabilities. This week the panels started being recalled by their local distributor, prompting MSC and Fincantieri to cancel the boat’s launch at a day’s notice.

Paroc has identified 45 boats in operation with the faulty panels, including other types of ships run by other companies, the people said. Globally, there are fewer than 300 cruise ships in operation, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, an industry body which represents 95 per cent of the world’s ocean-going cruise capacity.