Chantiers de l'Atlantique
Chantiers de l'Atlantique, is a Saint-Nazaire, France based shipyard; which forms part of the STX France SA business unit, majority owned by STX Europe with a 66.6% stake and the balance 33.34% held by the French state. It is one of the world's largest shipyards, and built the iconic ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary 2.
The shipyard was owned by Alstom since 1984, and became part of Aker Yards when Aker Group acquired the Alstom Marine business in 2006. In 2008, the South Korean company STX Corporation acquired Aker Yards, and the shipyard became part of STX Europe (formed by the renaming of Aker Yards).
Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire and Chantiers de Penhoët merged in 1955 to form Chantiers de l'Atlantique. The yard started by building ships for the French transatlantic line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. In 1961, it built the trans-Atlantic superliner SS France, then the world's longest passenger vessel.
After the construction of the last Compagnie Générale Transatlantique liner and the closure of the Suez Canal, the yard began building large tankers, including Batillus, Bellamya, Pierre Guillaumat and Prairial. A new dry dock (Basin C) was built for this purpose and would have allowed the construction of tankers over 1,000,000 tonnes, but it remained unused between the 1970s and the construction of the "Queen Mary 2" in 2003, because of the lack of demand for such large tankers with the re-opening of the Suez Canal.
Aker Yards and Alstom announced on 4 January 2006 their intention to join forces in shipbuilding and create together one of the world leaders in this industry, focused on high-value-added ships, including world-class cruise ships.
Aker ASA sold its interest in the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard to the South Korean company STX Corporation in 2008, and the shipyard became part of STX Europe (formed by the renaming of Aker Yards). The same year, the French government took a 33.34% stake in the shipyard.
Ships built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique include:
- SS Normandie, Entered service in 1935, world's largest ship until Cunard's Queen Elizabeth, held Blue Riband. Capsized in New York Harbor, 1942. Scrapped in NJ, 1946.
- Sans Souci class 4 sloops, designed as seaplane tenders, but built as escorts, all launched in 1940.
- SS France, launched in 1961, the world's longest passenger ship from 1961 to 2004, became the SS Norway.
- SS Shalom ZIM Israel Flag-Ship 1964
- MS Renaissance, a French cruise liner that entered service in 1966 for service on the Marseilles-Haifa route.
- Batillus class supertankers, 4 ships launched 1976-9
- MV Gastor and MV Nestor: two LNG carriers built in 1976-1977 for the Dutch NSU (later Nedlloyd) and Ocean Group now owned by Bonny Gas Transport . The large drydock, that was later used for the Queen Mary 2, was specially built for the building of supertankers in the 1970s, among which these two ships . The drydock was never used again until the QM2 was being built.
- The MS Thomson Spirit, then the MS Nieuw Amsterdam was finished by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in 1983, for the Holland America Line.
- MV Bretagne, Brittany Ferries ship that operates between Portsmouth and St Malo, was launched in 1989.
- Royal Caribbean International's MS Sovereign of the Seas, which was the largest cruise ship in the world from 1988 to 1990, and its sister ships, MS Monarch of the Seas and MS Majesty of the Seas.
- MS Dreamward entered service in 1992.
- MS Windward entered service in 1993.
- MS Paul Gauguin currently sailing in French Polynesia.
- Grand Mistral entered service in 1999. Nowadays, it is operated by Ibero Cruceros.
- Ocean Princess, formerly Tahitian Princess, was launched in 1999.
- Pacific Princess was launched in 1999 and is a sister ship to Ocean Princess.
- GTS Millennium built in 2000 and sailed by Celebrity Cruises.
- MV Adonia, formerly Royal Princess, formerly R8, was launched in 2001.
- Seven Seas Mariner launched in 2001 and operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises (formerly Radisson Seven Seas Cruises). This is the world's first all balcony luxury cruise ship.
- Coral Princess launched in 2002 by Princess Cruises
- Island Princess launched in 2003 by Princess Cruises. She is a sister ship to Coral Princess.
- Crystal Serenity entered service in 2003
- Queen Mary 2 floated in 2003, is the longest, tallest, widest, and the largest ocean liner, and at the time of her construction, the largest passenger ship, and is currently the last ship to undergo regularly scheduled Transatlantic crossings.
- Completed in May 2006, Alstom built KOGO, a yacht owned by Mansour Ojjeh, who also part-owns the McLaren Formula One team. KOGO has been used by Lewis Hamilton and the yacht has an onboard gym and jacuzzi.
- Part of MS Baltic Princess launched in 2008.
- Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic, built in 2010 and currently the world's second largest cruise ship, behind the Oasis-class and ahead of Freedom-class ships of RCI.
- "2012 Investment Climate Statement - France". June 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "STX Europe". STX Europe. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- "Aker Yards and Alstom Marine Complete Transaction". Asdnews.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Aker Yards and Alstom Marine plan to join forces". Alstom.com. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Aker Yards to be renamed STX Europe". Reuters. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Europe | Inquiry into cruise liner deaths". BBC News. 2003-11-15. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
- Documentary on Discovery Knowledge Building of the Queen Mary 2 on YouTube - YT movie deleted because of copyright infringement
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