Report: Finnish government rejects financing for third Oasis-class ship

By Tom Stieghorst
The Finnish government rejected a financing package for shipyard STX Finland to build a third Oasis-class ship, according to a report in Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

The paper said the shipyard in Turku and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will try to renegotiate an acceptable financing package.

Royal Caribbean, which had the Oasis and Allure of the Seas ships built in Turku, confirmed in an earnings call last month that it was negotiating for a third 5,400-passenger ship.

Oasis cost $1.4 billion or about $220,000 per berth when it was ordered in 2006. Royal Caribbean said the new ship could be ordered at a lower cost per berth than the Oasis or sister ship the Allure of the Seas, which cost $1.2 billion.

Outside of the Oct. 25 earnings call, Royal has declined to comment on the negotiations.

A second Finnish paper, Yle Uutiset, quoted former Turku shipyard CEO Martin Saarikangas, as saying he was confident the deal would get done.

"I'd take the silence as a positive signal," he said to the paper. "If history is correct, there is sure to be something pending. The situation is not hopeless."
Yle Uutiset said Finnish Economic Minister Jan Free Mount and Defense Minister Carl Haglund refused to comment on the financing of the project.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter at tstravelweekly.
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