Meyer Werft lays keel for LNG-powered ASUKA III

German shipbuilder Meyer Werft has held a traditional keel-laying ceremony for the LNG-powered ASUKA III cruise ship, being built for NYK Cruises, a subsidiary of Japanese shipping company NYK.

Image credit: Meyer Werft

The event took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, on December 12. The ceremony saw the first steel block, weighing an impressive 345 tonnes, get lowered into the building dock, initiating the assembly of the ship’s hull.

“With today’s keel laying we are celebrating the next important milestone in the construction of the ASUKA III. All of us at MEYER are proud to build this special cruise ship for the Japanese market. The special feature of designing the ship to meet the needs and requirements of Japanese passengers is unique. We work very closely with the NYK team and with passion,” says Managing Director Jan Meyer.

“I appreciate the ongoing collaboration with the MEYER WERFT team and am confident that with their continued support we will successfully manage the launch of the ASAUKAIII in 2025,” said Hiroyuki Endo, President of NYK Cruises.

Customized for Japanese travelers

To remind, NYK Cruises placed the order for the ASUKA III back in 2021. The vessel, measuring 230 meters in length and 29.8 meters in width, will offer accommodations for 740 passengers.

Customization is a key focus for Meyer Werft in this project. Namely, hydrodynamics are optimized according to planned routes. In addition, contactless controls, and onboard facilities are tailored to the preferences of Japanese passengers.

Furthermore, the 52,000 GT ASUKA III will operate on liquefied natural gas, which is expected to significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The use of LNG is set to nearly eliminate nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and sulfur oxides.

ASUKA III is the first passenger ship in around 30 years to be built under the supervision of the Japanese flag state.

The cruise ship is set for delivery in 2025.