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Palumbo ranks third worldwide for cruise liner refitting

Palumbo Malta Shipyards has just placed third worldwide for cruise ship refitting, beating stiff competition from Marseille and Barcelona.

The Maltese shipyard’s team of workers, operating from Cottonera, last year won contracts to refit and maintain four cruise liners — Costa NeoRiviera, Thomson Spirit, Mein Schiff 2 and Mein Schiff 3 — according to the international trade magazine Seatrade Cruise News.

“Placing third worldwide in just six years since we took over the Malta Drydocks gives us immense satisfaction. This ranking would never have been achieved without everyone’s dedication and hard work,” Palumbo Group CEO Antonio Palumbo said.

“It positions us as one of the top shipyards worldwide in this growing industry and we are working very hard to attract more business to the island — we have set our sights on securing second place in 2017,” he added.

Palumbo Malta’s Shipyard fell just one ship short of second place in the international ranking, secured by the Fincantieri shipyard in Palermo that refitted five liners. The undisputed leader was the Grand Bahama Shipyard, which is strategically located on the Caribbean Cruises route, and last year renovated 21 vessels.

According to the report drawn up by Seatrade Cruise News, there were 62 cruise ships globally requiring refitting or maintenance for a total expenditure of around €1.42 billion.

When the construction of new cruise liners dipped, the cruise operators refocused their energies on renovating older ships as attitudes about the kinds of return they got from new ships versus refurbished ones changed.

In 2015, Carnival Corp. spent more on improving and replacing its ships than it didon building new ones. For passengers and travel agents, this means having a wider selection of up-to-date vessels to choose from and the latest features installed on older ships.