Cunard and Fincantieri today celebrated the start of construction on the 249th ship for the cruise line.

The yet unnamed ship at 113,000 tons with a guest capacity of 3000, will be the second largest ship to fly the Cunard flag when she launches in 2022.

The first section of the ship is under construction at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia ship yard. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

The steel cutting ceremony is a keystone-event in the life of Cunard’s new ship, marking the commencement of building works that will culminate in its delivery in Monfalcone, Gorizia, Italy, in 2022.

Of the occasion, Simon Palethorpe, President, Cunard said: “After years of planning and design, we are delighted to see building works commence on our newest ship. The 249th Cunarder will be our fourth luxury liner for the 21st century. The new ship is taking inspiration from the successes of our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.”

Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director, Fincantieri (TBC) added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.”

Led by designer Adam D. Tihany, who designed the interiors for Seabourn Ovation and Encore, the team includes Simon Rawlings, of David Collins Studio; Terry McGillicuddy, of Richmond International; and Sybille de Margerie, from Paris-based interior design agency Sybille de Margerie.

The line has commissioned Egyptian-sculptor Sam Shendi to make a sculpture which will be displayed on the ship.

Shendi uses contemporary industrial material, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fibreglass to create his figurative work.

Cunard said it will open bookings for the 2022 season next year.

 Image courtesy of Cunard