San Giorgio del Porto is one of Europe's leading ship repair and conversion specialists. World Cruise Industry Review talks to Manolo Cavaliere, the firm's commercial manager, about its recent acquisition of port facilities in France. Combined with its expertise in integrating environmentally sustainable modifications to passenger liners, the new facilities place the shipyard at the cutting edge of cruise ship refurbishment.
Manolo Cavaliere: San Giorgio del Porto (SGdP) is one of the world's leading vessel repair and transformation specialists, capable of assisting any type of ship, anywhere around the world. Drawing on almost 90 years of experience in this area, we're a one-stop solution for repair, conversion and refitting operations throughout the shipping industry. Thanks to our position in the Port of Genoa and its proximity to major Mediterranean cruise terminals, the company has focused mainly on the passenger ship segment, completing numerous landmark projects in this area.
SGdP provides a service tailored to the needs of the cruise industry, and always ensures successful and timely execution of the work. Not only do we draw upon lengthy experience, but we also continue to employ a highly skilled workforce that includes naval architects, mechanical engineers, emergency response teams and specialised technicians.
When it comes to the cruise sector specifically, our facilities in Genoa and our sister yard, Chantier Naval de Marseille (CNM), include specialists in the repair and refurbishment of passenger liners - particularly when it comes to tailoring older vessels to new environmental standards. To that end, CNM operates several 450m-long berths in addition to three large dry docks capable of receiving some of the largest vessels currently sailing.
In August 2016, Costa Cruises and SGdP signed a strategic partnership for the expansion of CNM. The agreement for the strengthening of CNM calls for an initial investment of €10 million, aimed at boosting the efficiency of the shipyard with the best available technologies. The investment will allow us to expand at scale, permitting our facilities to accommodate any type of vessel.
The experience and ingenuity inherent to the Italian ship repair industry that is embodied in the operations of SGdP has effectively been exported to Marseilles, where the infrastructural features of the port enable a business expansion to new market segments.
The cruise sector is constantly changing. Every year, we see more-modern ships launched, incorporating designs that pay particular attention to environmental sustainability. In this context, SGdP and CNM are well placed to leverage our extensive experience in the sector to provide modern facilities able to accommodate the largest cruise ships on the market.
Both of our yards are specialists when it comes to the attachment of modifications to passenger liners to ensure compliance with new environmental standards or more fuel-efficient operations. These works have been a routine part of the yard's operations for many years. A dedicated engineer or ship manager is always placed in charge of the project's execution and makes sure that the work is performed in an efficient manner. CNM, in particular, retains vast experience in this area, regularly providing owners and managers with the full range of services required to carry out regular dockings, retrofits, conversions, specialised work on pods or the aforementioned types of modifications.