The Japanese shipping company NYK Line, which is also the owner of Asuka 2 (Japan's currently biggest cruise liner at 50,444 GT-tons) announced on Wednesday, March 31, it would build an even larger (51950 GT-ton) vessel with completion aimed for 2025.
Passenger capacity will be reduced to ~740, or 85% of that of the 1990-built Asuka 2, operator NYK Cruises Co. said. The company is expected to raise 71 billion yen (USD 642 million) to fund the shipbuilding project, mainly through syndicated loans from 30 banks.
The name of the ship has yet to be revealed.
The newbuild will be equipped with ventilation and ion sterilization systems, along with no-contact elevators enabling guests to ride without touching the buttons in order to reduce infection risks.
Asuka II has been a popular ship with 436 staterooms onboard but has been aging. The newbuild will have ~385 staterooms, giving passengers more space.
NYK Cruises is due to secure ~60 billion yen by taking out loans from Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and 29 regional banks, with the remaining ~11 billion yen coming from financial markets.