Posted by: cruise2 | 28 May, 2012

Is STX France Slightly Confused About Its Own 150-Year History?

 

The 139,400-ton MSC Divina, one of eleven St Nazaire-built MSC ships, is 1,094 feet long and carries 3,500 lower-berth passengers

When STX France handed over the MSC Divina to MSC Cruises at St Nazaire on last Saturday, she became the eleventh St Nazaire-built ship to be owned by the Naples-based cruise line. General manager Laurent Castaing was quoted as saying that “MSC Divina is the eleventh ship in just over ten years that our shipyard has built which is operated by MSC Cruises. Her sister ship MSC Preziosa, currently under construction, will become the twelfth ship.” True as far as it goes, although two of those ships had been delivered to the now defunct Festival Cruises and then acquired by MSC. Castaing then went on to say that “Throughout our 150-year history never before have so many vessels been built for one shipowner, and this is a record that deserves to be highlighted.” It’s just too bad his facts were wrong.

The 83,423-ton Normandie, one of twenty-two St Nazaire-built CGT ocean liners, was 1,029 feet long and carried 2,000 passengers

As is so often the case these days, researchers appear not to have done their work properly, putting Castaing into the embarrassing position of quoting their inaccuracies. Why? Because the St Nazaire yards built twice as many ships for the famous Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, also known as the French Line. Starting with the s.s.France of 1865 and finishing with the last s.s. France of 1962, St Nazaire built twenty-two passenger liners for CGT. These included some of the most famous Transatlantic liners of their day – Paris (1921), Ile de France (1927),Lafayette (1930), Champlain (1932) and Normandie (1935). STX France itself is the successor to two shipyards, Chantiers de Penhoët and Chantiers de la Loire, which were merged in 1955 to form Chantiers de l’Atlantique.

While MSC Cruises is a big customer for STX, in recent years the shipyard has also completed RMS Queen Mary 2,Crystal Serenity and the eight Renaissance ships and is now building Europa 2 for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Meanwhile, for anyone wanting to cruise in a French ship these days we offer Compagnie du Ponant, with itineraries worldwide on three small ships, and CMA CGM, with cargo-passenger services worldwide on more than 65 container ships. Or, of course, you can book with MSC Cruises! For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk or in North America at 1-800-961-5536 or cruise@thecruisepeople.ca

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