Amadea - Phoenix Reisen
The Amadea was originally built in Japan at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Nagasaki as the Asuka. The Asuka was delivered to Yusen Cruises Company Limited in 1991. Yusen Cruises is part of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Group which has been in the shipping industry since the 1870's. NYK has 2 cruise subsidiaries which are Yusen Cruises Co Ltd, focused exclusively on the Japanese market and Crystal Cruises, which focuses on high-end luxury cruises predominately geared towards North Americans.
Permit us a small digression on the topic of NYK and the link to the mother company, Mitsubishi. NYK is part of a conglomerate of companies known as a Keiretsu. A Keiretsu is a group of interconnected companies that work together for their mutual benefit under a larger umbrella holding company, in this case Mitsubishi. Most western multi-national companies look to leverage and expand by outsourcing non-core parts of their business. Mitsubishi in-sources the outsourced parts and creates new companies designed to serve the larger umbrella group in addition to other external clients. By patronizing each other, they effectively keep their investments within the overall group with a goal of creating a self-sustaining business eco-system. From the outside it might seem to be an incestuous business model but the system has served Mitsubishi well. Today, Mitsubishi is made up of over 500 interconnected companies.
Pulling this story back to the Asuka, let us link together some of the Keiretsu companies under Mitsubishi that have been involved in bringing her to life. Yusen Cruises Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of NYK, placed the order for the Asuka with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The bank loans for construction of the ship were provided by Mitsubishi Bank. The engines were produced by Mitsubishi (under license from MAN). The furnishings, carpet and paint, all are provided by Mitsubishi companies with the final touch being her crew, which are provided by NYK itself.
In 2005, NYK orchestrated a re-alignment of their passenger shipping. The oldest ship in the Crystal Cruises fleet, the 1990 Japanese built Crystal Harmony, was requisitioned back to the Japan. Effectively, Yusen Cruises increased their capacity by 25% by inheriting the Crystal Harmony (now Asuka II). The ship change rendered the original Asuka redundant and enter Phoenix Reisen to continue her career. On charter to Phoenix Reisen, since February of 2006 the Asuka has been known as the Amadea.
This profile is about in ship design evolution. Built at the same shipyard, Mitsubishi Heavy in Nagasaki, the Crystal Harmony and Asuka share the similar designs brought to life by Mr. Toshio Nagao of Kenmochi Design Laboratory in Japan. The Asuka was completed one year after her big sister, in 1991. Designed with luxury in mind, the Asuka had all outside accommodation with a large portion being balcony cabins.
In late 2005, the Asuka needed to undergo some modifications to adjust her decor to meet the discriminating tastes of her new German clientele. Phoenix Reisen chartered the Asuka and after her renovation, she emerged as the Amadea. In Latin, Amadea (Amanda in the English language) means God's Love or can also be the female version of the name Amadeus. Post renovation, the Amadea added her first inside cabins in addition to few new balcony cabins. The result was a modest 50 passenger increase in her maximum load capacity.
The design area where Amadea and Crystal Symphony have the most commonality is their funnels. The design consists of a tall core exhaust funnel wrapped with an outer, flanking wind deflector. Compact and powerful, the funnels of both ships are a clear connecting point in their design. Below is a comparison of the 2 funnels in profile.
Symphony's funnel is sleek and classy with a black core wrapped in white with the Crystal Cruises logo proudly displayed above the ships name.
Current & Future
When the Amadea was originally designed, she was built to be a luxury world explorer. Phoenix Reisen has seized upon that great design principal and employed it to their advantage. As the German population continues to age and cruising keeps growing in popularity as a travel alternative, Phoenix Reisen will have many more good years ahead. Evidence of Phoenix Reisen's good business practices has recently been further validated by the announcement that P&O's Artemis will be joining the fleet in 2011 as the Adriana. We expect the Amadea to be the fire at the center of Phoenix Reisen's cruise line well into the next decade and beyond.
A special thank you to Shipbuilding & Ocean Development Headquarters of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Limited for providing valuable information to help complete this article.
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