Chantiers de l'Atlantique

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The Batillus oil tanker at the end of its construction in Saint-Nazaire, being refueled by the Port-Vendres

Chantiers de l'Atlantique, is a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. It is one of the world's largest shipyards, constructing a wide range of commercial, naval and passenger ships. It is located near Nantes, at the mouth of the Loire river and the deep waters of the Atlantic which make the sailing of large ships in and out of the shipyards easy.

The shipyard was owned by Alstom from 1976 onwards, became Alstom-Atlantique and was later part of Aker Yards when Aker Group acquired the Alstom Marine business in 2006.[1][2] 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).[3].

A plan exists and is currently under review by the EU's Competition Bureau[4] for Italy's Fincantieri to acquire a 50% stake in the shipyard. After the bankruptcy of STX Corporation, the shipyard reverted back to its original Chantiers de l'Atlantique name.


The giant superliner RMS Queen Mary 2 under construction
Russian amphibious assault ship Sevastopol awaiting delivery, December 2014

Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire and Ateliers et 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 two cruise ships for Holland America Line, Noordam and Niuwe Amsterdam in 1983 and 1984. Then from 1985 to end of 1998 it was a series of cruise ships for RCCL starting with the Sovereign of the Seas delivered in 87, the first of the Mega cruise ship in the world. Then followed Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas also RCCl. Then Nordic Express in 1990. In 1995 leveres Legend of the Seas, the first of 4 Vision class ships to be built at CA. She is followed by Splendour in 1996, Rhapsody in 1997 and Vision in 1998. Then the "Queen Mary 2" in 2003,

Chantiers de l'Atlantique delivered the luxury cruise ship, Crystal Serenity of Crystal Cruises in July 2003. The yard built also built the superliner RMS Queen Mary 2 for the Cunard Line in 2003. Near the end of the construction period a gangway to the dry-docked ship collapsed killing 16 people.[5]

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.[1][2]

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).[3] The same year, the French government took a 33.34% stake in the shipyard.[6]

After the bankruptcy of STX Corporation in 2016, STX France was put up for sale and the Italian state-owned shipyard Fincantieri showed interest in acquiring STX France.

After difficult negotiations and a brief nationalisation by the French government, the involved parties reached an agreement in September 2017, with Fincantieri Fincantieri acquiring 50% of the share capital and the remainder being held by the French Naval Group and the French government. In October 2017, it was announced that the Saint-Nazaire shipyard would regain its original name: Chantiers de l'Atlantique[7].

Ships built[edit]

Ships built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique include:

A plaque inside the Coral Princess


  1. ^ a b "Aker Yards and Alstom Marine Complete Transaction". Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Aker Yards and Alstom Marine plan to join forces". Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Aker Yards to be renamed STX Europe". Reuters. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Europe | Inquiry into cruise liner deaths". BBC News. 2003-11-15. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  6. ^ "2012 Investment Climate Statement - France". June 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Documentary on Discovery Knowledge Building of the Queen Mary 2 on YouTube - YT movie deleted because of copyright infringement

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°16′59″N 2°11′19″W / 47.2831°N 2.1886°W / 47.2831; -2.1886