Fincantieri launched the Cruise Olympia earlier this week at Castellammare di Stabia shipyard, the last of a series of four cruise ferries ordered by the Grimaldi Group (Naples), Italy’s biggest shipping company.

Godmother to the ship, that was launched sliding down the traditional slipway in a spectacular ceremony, was Maria Consuelo Fuduli Grimaldi, sister of Emanuele Grimaldi, chairman of Minoan Lines.

After delivery, scheduled for next June, Cruise Olympia will join her sister ship, the Cruise Europa, employed since October by Minoan Lines, the Greek shipping company part of the Grimaldi Group, on the Ancona/Igoumenitsa/Patras route.

Cruise Olympia, together with Cruise Europa, will be the biggest cruise ferries in the Mediterranean and will be outfitted following the same standards found on cruise ships, such as the interior design of public areas and cabins and a wide range of onboard entertainment, that includes an à la carte and a self service restaurant, bars, a casino, wellness and fitness areas, a swimming pool, shops, a conference hall and a party hall, a discotheque, two halls reserved for drivers, an internet point, a video games corner and a children’s playroom.

Cruise Olympia is 225 meters long and 31 meters wide, with a gross tonnage of 54,310 tons and will have a loading capacity of 250 cars and 3,000 linear meters of coaches, trucks and campers, and will accommodate up to 3,000 passengers in 413 cabins, 18 of which will be owner’s suites and 50 junior suites, besides 548 reclining seats (114 of which first class). The ship will be able to operate at a service speed of 28 knots connecting Ancona, Igoumenitsa and Patras in only 22 hours.

Cruise Olympia was designed to have minimum impact on the environment and be energy efficient: transporting on the "Motorways of the Sea" hundreds of trucks and thousands of passengers each day. Thus, the road congestion will be reduced, reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. The ship will be awarded the “Green Star” certificate by RINA, proving how these units have been designed, built and run to have a zero impact on the environment thanks to the “Clean Air” and ‘Clean Sea” notations.

Emanuele Grimaldi, chairman of Minoan Lines, has declared: "Cruise Olympia is proof that is it possible to successfully combine high quality services with a low-cost concept. Thanks to economies of scale, the new unit can offer extremely competitive rates for rolling freight and low cost services for passengers while still offering an onboard experience similar to a cruise ship.”

"Cruise Olympia” confirms the revolutionary concept of transport both for passengers and rolling freight that our Group introduced on the Adriatic routes between Italy and Greece, which will unavoidably bring beneficial and long term effects to the economies of both countries linked, to European transport companies and to tourists travelling in this area of the Mediterranean Sea”, added Emanuele Grimaldi.

Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's CEO, commented: "The launching of this ultra-modern unit, that we hope will be followed by many others, consolidates Fincantieri's strong partnership with the Grimaldi Group and its different brands, for which, in the last years, we have built more than 30 vessels. Cruise Olympia" is a further demonstration of Fincantieri's production excellence but also of the remarkable skills and strong sense of responsibility shown by our workers in Castellammare di Stabia shipyard in the extremely difficult period the shipbuilding sector is currently going through.”