In the latest turn of events, the Phoenix may be built in the United States by the Shipyards Division of Avondale Industries. The company is presently putting together a bid for the ship to be built at its New Orleans shipyard facilities.
An American building contract for the 250,000-ton, 5,600-passenger vessel is also expected to enable its owners, the World City Corporation, to complete the required financing for construction of one to two billion dollars.
Avondale Industries, Shipyards Division, is a diversified shipyard, having constructed large crude carriers, large container vessels, offshore drilling rigs and the full range of naval vessels.
Avondale's main yard facility totals 222 acres and contains three outfitting docks and a shipbuilding area that is capable of constructing ships up to 300,000 dwt.
In a statement from the company, it is stated that its backlog of orders is being rapidly dissipated and that added work is required at this time to maintain the work force.
An American-built Phoenix could pose a formidable challenge to the existing cruise industry in that it would fly the American flag which, according to present tax legislation, allows tax deductible status for business meetings and incentive cruises denied to foreign-flag ships. American flag would also allow the ship to sail between two American ports without necessarily calling at a foreign port, which the Jones Act requires of foreign-flag ships.
But the largest advantage is image-wise, if built in the Unites States, the giant vessel, which would attract attention in any event, would be the first ocean-going passenger ship to built in the Unites States in nearly 30 years and could be a showcase for American technology.
"Built in America" is also timely these days when the National Transportation Safety Board is proposing unilateral American safety regulations.
In a prepared statement, Knut Kloster, founder and Chairman of the World City Corporation, said that the latest development "now assures that World City will receive a timely offer and fixed delivery schedule, prerequisites for completion of financial arrangements."