Four new Viking Ocean Cruises ships being constructed by Fincantieri, one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups, will benefit from the enhanced fire safety offered by Nexans’ Safe Return to Port (SRtP) cable technology. This ongoing relationship with Fincantieri illustrates Nexans’ commitment to the buoyant global cruise ship market. The contract is worth around 12 million Euro.

Nexans has worked in close cooperation with Fincantieri to develop a new generation of high-tech, fire resistant, SRtP cables based on its state-of-the-art nanotechnology. Some 4,000 km of the power and data cables will be installed in the cruise ships under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyards. Each 473-cabin ship has a gross tonnage of 48,000 tons.

Safe Return to Port cables

In 2010, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced the concept of Safe Return to Port (SRtP) for passenger ships in a directive known as the MSC.1.Circ. 1368. The directive encourages safe engineering design and advises that critical systems and services must remain operational on passenger ships for at least three hours - long enough for them to make a safe return to port and evacuate the ship if a serious incident occurs.

Ship cables play a vital role in ensuring SRtP by carrying vital power, control and data services. This is a very demanding requirement as the cables not only need to be fire resistant, they must also withstand both physical shock loads and the thermal shocks caused by water jets spraying on to hot cables. The new SRtP cable design is based on Nexans’ nanotechnology that, when exposed to a fire, transforms the insulation from a flexible, plastic covering to a tough insulating ceramic layer to assure circuit integrity under voltages up to 1 kV.

“Fincantieri is a major player in the cruise ship market. So the successful development of the SRtP cables and securing this order for the Viking Ocean Cruises ships is a very significant achievement for Nexans. It demonstrates our strong technical expertise in the shipping industry as well as our capability to collaborate with ship builders to design and engineer innovative cable solutions,” says Yannick Goutille, Nexans Ship Cable Product Manager.

The cables are manufactured at Nexans’ German facilities for delivery to Fincantieri over the next two years.