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 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 to its original name of Chantiers de l'Atlantique.
Chantiers de l'Atlantique was formed in 1955 by the merger of Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire and Ateliers et Chantiers de Penhoët. The shipyard's first ships were built for the French transatlantic line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. In 1961, it built the transatlantic ocean liner SS France, the world's longest passenger vessel at the time. 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 was built for this purpose and would have allowed the construction of tankers exceeding one million tonnes, but it remained unused until the construction of two cruise ships for Holland America Line in the 1980s.
Between 1985 and 1998, the shipyard built several cruise ships for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL). In 1987 the first of these ships, Sovereign of the Seas, was delivered, and was the first mega cruise ship in the world. Subsequent deliveries to RCCL included Monarch of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, Nordic Empress, Legend of the Seas, Splendour of the Seas, Rhapsody of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas. In 2003, the shipyard also delivered Crystal Serenity to Crystal Cruises and RMS Queen Mary 2 to Cunard Line. During the construction of RMS Queen Mary 2, a gangway to the dry-docked ship collapsed, killing sixteen people.
On 4 January, 2006 Aker Yards purchased the Marine Division of Alstom, which included the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard. In March 2007 Aker ASA divested its interest in Aker Yards, with South Korean STX Corporation acquiring a 39.2% stake in Aker Yards in October. By 3 November, 2008 STX Corporation had acquired a controlling stake in the company, renaming it to STX Europe. The same year, the French government purchased 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. In September 2017, after difficult negotiations and a brief nationalization of the shipyard by the French government, the involved parties reached an agreement, with Fincantieri acquiring a 50% stake in STX France, and the remainder being held by the French Naval Group and the French government. A month later, 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. It was the 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 cruise liner that entered service in 1966 for service on the Marseilles-Haifa route.
- Batillus class supertankers - Four ships launched (1976-1979)
- 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, which was later used for the Queen Mary 2, was specially built for the building of supertankers in the 1970s, among which were these two ships. The drydock was never used again until the QM2 was being built.
- The MS Thomson Spirit - Then the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, it 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 - 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, it launched in 1999.
- Pacific Princess - 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.
- KOGO - Completed by Alstom in May 2006. It was 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 on-board gym and Jacuzzi.
- MS Baltic Princess - A part of it was 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 - World's largest passenger ship as of 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. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "Aker Yards to be renamed STX Europe". Reuters. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
- "SS FRANCE, SS NORWAY". Maritime Matters. Retrieved 2019-04-17.
- "Discovery Knowledge Building The Queen Mary 2 PART1 [Documentary] FreeHDFilms - video dailymotion". Dailymotion. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
- "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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