Chantiers de l'Atlantique
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. 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)..
A plan exists and is currently under review by the EU's Competition Bureau 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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
- The BELLE ABETO Built 1952 as LAENNEC 66 BELLE ABETO Passenger/cargo Ship.
- SS France, launched in 1961, the world's longest passenger ship from 1961 to 2004, became the SS Norway.
- MS Ancerville, a former passenger ship built in 1962, integrated as part of Sea World, a multi-purpose complex in Shenzhen, China since 1983.
- SS Shalom ZIM Israel flagship 1964
- MS Renaissance, a French cruiseliner 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
- RMS 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 only 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 third largest cruise ship, behind the Oasis-class, the Quantum-class and ahead of Freedom-class ships of RCI.
- Russian amphibious assault ship Vladivostok, later purchased by Egypt.
- Russian amphibious assault ship Sevastopol, later purchased by Egypt.
- Royal Caribbean International's Harmony of the Seas
- Celebrity Cruises , Project EDGE
- Royal Caribbean International's Symphony of the Seas, the world's largest passenger ship as at May 2018 (228,081 tons)
- "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.
- "2012 Investment Climate Statement - France". June 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- Documentary on Discovery Knowledge Building of the Queen Mary 2 on YouTube - YT movie deleted because of copyright infringement
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