zoom Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and cruise company Carnival Corporation have signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the construction of one next-generation cruise ship for Carnival’s UK-based brand Cunard.As informed, the agreement will become operational when all the financial and technical conditions are satisfied.The 113,000 gross ton ship will be built at the Monfalcone yard and join the Cunard’s fleet in 2022. With an accommodation space for 3,000 passengers, the cruise ship will be the 249th to fly the Cunard flag since the company’s founding in 1839.The cruise brand currently operates three ships, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria.“We are very pleased to announce the fourth ship for our … Cunard brand… While today’s news helps drive Cunard’s overall strategic growth plans, we also look forward to launching this next-generation cruise ship to help meet increasing global demand and entice even more travelers to explore the Cunard experience,” Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, commented.“Fleet enhancement is an important part of our ongoing goal to exceed guest expectations. This includes replacing less efficient ships with more efficient vessels over time as part of our managed capacity growth,” Donald added.“For this group we have built 63 ships, representing today almost two-thirds of their fleet, with other 9 to come in the coming years,” Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said.With this new ship agreement, Carnival Corporation now has 18 new ships scheduled to be delivered to its portfolio of cruise brands between 2018 and 2022.
London: Britain on Monday ruled out swapping seized oil tankers with Iran as a second UK warship arrived in the Gulf to conduct convoys that have irritated Tehran. A sense of crisis in the world’s busiest oil shipping lane has been building up for weeks as Iran responds to US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign. The US economic sanctions and stepped-up military presence are designed to force Iran to renegotiate a landmark 2015 nuclear pact from which Trump pulled out last year. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBritain further outraged Iran by seizing one of its tankers — the Grace 1 — on July 4 on suspicion of it carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. Iran vowed to retaliate and its Revolutionary Guards stormed and detained the UK-flagged Stena Impero and its 23 crew as they sailed through the Strait of Hormuz on July 20. New British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab flatly rejected the idea of the two tankers being exchanged or simultaneously released in a bid to dial back the tensions. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”There is no quid pro quo,” Raab told BBC radio. “This is not about some kind of barter. This is about international law and the rules of the international legal system being upheld,” he said. “That is what we will insist on.” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had hinted earlier that he was open to a tanker swap. Iran said on Sunday that its ship’s seizure was also a violation of the 2015 nuclear pact that Britain co-signed and is trying to keep alive with EU allies. Its remaining participants met in Vienna over the weekend for heated talks that also saw Iran lash out at Britain’s proposal for European nations to lead a naval and air Gulf escort mission. Britain’s HMS Montrose frigate began helping UK-flagged tankers enter into and out of the Gulf last week. Its naval presence near Iran grew to two with the arrival on Sunday of the HMS Duncan destroyer — the most advanced warship Britain currently has. The UK defence ministry said the two will conduct escorts together for the next month. The Montrose will then go in for scheduled maintenance and be replaced by the HMS Kent frigate later this year. “Freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz is vital not just to the UK, but also our international partners and allies,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said. Yet Britain’s European force proposal is running up one already being prepared by the United States. Both plans have strongly angered Tehran. Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Sunday that the proposed European fleet “carries a hostile message, is provocative and will increase tensions”. Britain’s Raab said London was still insisting on a European force — despite the potential conflict with Washington. “This shouldn’t be some sort of geopolitical, EU versus US tussle,” he said in the radio interview. “It should be (about) what puts us in the best position with the widest group of international actors to uphold the rule of law.”