Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL/containership company) announced it is looking to diversify into the cruising business.
The company's Board of Directors has decided to build 2 new cruise ships. The construction of the vessels is expected to cost $719 million. The first newbuild is due to be delivered ~2027.
The cruise ships will be 35,000 GT and carry a Japanese flag.
Many details such as the shipyard at which they will be built and whether they would use alternative fuels are still undecided.
The approval for the construction of the two comes shortly after the government of Japan opened up the country to international tourism.
The company revealed they had plans to build additional 2 ships should the first two emerge successful.
Mitsui OSK Lines, along with other shipping companies raked in record profits during the COVID crisis. Since the shipping business is influenced by market conditions, the company is diversifying into sectors that promise stable returns like wind power generation and cruise tourism.
Although Mitsui OSK Lines is popular for its commercial operations, there is just one cruise ship in its fleet.
The 22,742 GT Nippon Maru is 547 ft long. Being one of three Japan-flagged large cruise ships, she enjoys considerable popularity. Nippon Maru has been only plying on the country’s domestic routes but is now scheduled to sail a 48-day international voyage on December 15th.