MV Werften has commenced the construction of Genting Hong Kong unit Dream Cruises’ Global Class ship at its facility in Rostock, Germany.

The occasion was marked by a keel laying ceremony at the Rostock facility where the ship’s first section was laid. The section is 22m long, over 26m wide, and weighs 410t.

The new 204,000t vessel will be equipped with 2,500 suites and cabins to accommodate up to 5,000 passengers in double occupancy and up to 9,500 passengers during holiday seasons.

It will offer several amenities such as a theme park that will include a virtual reality rollercoaster, a multiplex cinema, spa, Asian and fast food restaurants, among others.

Apart from Rostock, MV Werften will also use its Wismar facilities in Germany to build the 342m-long and over 46m-wide ship.

The Wismar facility, which will receive the vessel next year, will build the bow and stern, as well as mount both the superstructures.

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The facility will also see the installation of the ship’s passenger cabins, which will be manufactured at MV Werften’s Fertigmodule site in Wismar.

A total of around 600 companies are engaged in the construction of the vessel.

“Owning a shipyard means more flexibility in integrating the latest technological advances for MV Werften to build the best cruise ship in the world.”

Genting Hong Kong chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said: “The Global Class has been completely designed from the keel upwards for the Asian market, with more exciting public areas and larger cabins than previous cruise liners, backed by world-class cutting-edge technology and digital systems familiar to technology-savvy Asians.

“Owning a shipyard means more flexibility in integrating the latest technological advances for MV Werften to build the best cruise ship in the world.”

In a separate development, Dream Cruises has announced a plan to add a new ship, Explorer Dream, to its fleet next year.

The 75,338t ship, previously owned by the company’s sister brand Star Cruises, is designed to carry 1,870 passengers.

It will undergo a $30m overhaul in March next year to include new facilities such as The Palace, which is Dream Cruises’ own luxury private enclave featuring 50 suites and a butler service.