Monaco’s Inocea announces its Davie Group has acquired the assets of Helsinki Shipyard Oy

inocea davie helsinki

The international marine industrial group Davie has officially purchased the assets of one of the world’s most important icebreaker and ice-class shipyards, Finland’s Helsinki Shipyard Oy, in a historic transaction that “combines the skills, experience and capabilities of two leaders in Arctic shipbuilding”. 

The deal to acquire the assets of Helsinki Shipyard Oy (HSO) was announced by parent group Inocea, which is based in the Principality of Monaco, at the start of the month.

“The completion of the transaction is the culmination of a series of milestones, beginning in December 2022. In March 2023, Davie exercised an exclusive option to purchase the assets of HSO,” reveals Marcel Poulin, the director of External Affairs and Industrial Participation at Davie. “This was followed in April by the signing of a business purchase agreement, and on 4th July Davie secured a new 50-year land lease from the City of Helsinki.” 

Two leaders in Arctic shipbuilding

The Davie group, established in 1825, is a leading builder and maintenance manager of “mission-critical” ships, including icebreakers, warships and ferries, for government and commercial customers that is based in Canada while HSO is a specialist in the field of Arctic vessels, particularly icebreakers, that has also branched out into the superyacht and high-quality passenger and cruise ship industries. 

“The historic transaction combines the skills, experience and capabilities of two leaders in Arctic shipbuilding and other high-value products,” continues Poulin. “While the Canadian and Finnish shipyard will be separate legal and operating entities, the business headquarters will remain in Québec. The transaction will create opportunities for employees, encourage collaboration, facilitate the transfer of know-how, provide access to resources, and stimulate export potential.”

“Proud to be at the forefront of this next frontier” 

It was a multi-faceted purchase requiring significant investment by the Davie group as well as €77 million of financing on the part of the Québec government, the Canadian province in which the Davie group is primarily active. The more intimate details of the deal remain confidential, but “a significant proportion of the funds will go to ensuring the shipyard has working capital while it gets up and running and secures new business,” according Poulin.  

“Linking together the capabilities, capacity and expertise of the two global leaders in ice-class vessel and icebreaker construction is a strategically important development for the western world,” says Alex Vicefield, Inocea’s Chairman, CEO and co-owner. “The Arctic is critical for future security, trade, navigation and the environment and Inocea is proud to be at the forefront of this next frontier.” 

The deal has also drawn praise from Finnish authorities, with the nation’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Wille Rydman, saying, “Thanks to the new owner, the future of the shipyard and the entire Finnish marine industry looks brighter.” 

Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen has echoed this sentiment, saying, “We have gained a strong, stable and competent operator from a reputable country for our shipyard operations. Versatile and vibrant business activity enables the success of Helsinki and enhances the well-being of our people. This is very welcome and happy news for all Helsinki residents.”  


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Photo source: Helsinki Shipyard Oy, Facebook

Celebrate the magic and tradition of Christmas with the Swiss Club of Monaco

This Christmas, the Swiss Club of Monaco is warmly inviting all to join in with its festive celebrations, which will feature a three-course dinner and carols by the Monaco Choir Belles.  

The annual Christmas Dinner hosted by the Swiss Club of Monaco will this year take place at the Salle des Arts at One Monte-Carlo on Friday 1st December from 7.30pm.  

A celebration of tradition and friendship, the event is open to all who want to come together and share in the pure joy of Christmas – with a good old helping of Swiss culture and hospitality.

Guests can expect a warm welcome with a cocktail reception that will set the mood for the evening’s festivities, followed by a delicious three-course menu accompanied by carefully selected wines.  

The Monaco Choir Belles will fill the air with enchanting carols before the Goldsingers, a prominent Monegasque music group, take over the entertainment side of the evening and get everyone up and out of their seats for a dance.  

Ticket price for members is €290 and €340 euros for non-members. The dress code is cocktail. 

About the Swiss Club of Monaco 

The Swiss Club of Monaco promotes the enduring cultural exchange between Switzerland and Monaco. It is a vibrant association that organises numerous events, from party celebrations like the Christmas Dinner to interesting conferences with Swiss personalities, that appeal to the broad international community of Monaco. 

The Swiss Club of Monaco was founded officially in 1949, making it one of the oldest associations in Monaco.  

Click here for more information.


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Photo source: Artem Kniaz, Unsplash

Photos: After 500 years of family ties, Monaco and Dolceacqua are officially “twinned”

The Principality of Monaco and the charming village of Dolceacqua in Liguria are now twinned cities, marking a new chapter in a cherished relationship that has spanned five centuries. 

Less than an hour’s drive from Monaco is the picturesque village of Dolceacqua. The Ligurian town is particularly noted for its castle and medieval stone bridge, which spans the Nervia River and connects the two sides of the commune, as well as its selection of quaint shops and traditional eateries that line the cobbled streets.  

Dolceacqua in Liguria has held family ties with Monaco’s Grimaldi family for more than 500 years. Photo source: Dan Hadar, Unsplash


Dolceacqua has a long, shared history with the Principality that formally began when Françoise Grimaldi married Luc Doria in 1491.

Nearly 30 years later, in August 1523, a tragedy beset both branches of the family when the couple’s son, Barthélemy Doria, assassinated his uncle and the Lord of Monaco in the Principality.  

Following the death of Lucien Grimaldi and the ensuing chaos, his brother Augustin Grimaldi, the Bishop of Grasse who became the next Lord of Monaco, demanded that the trustees of Dolceacqua, Apricale, Isolabona and Perinaldo swear a loyalty oath to him.

On 3rd November 1523 in Monaco, these communes agreed, inextricably tying them to the Principality for years to come.   


Exactly 500 years to the day, Monaco and Dolceacqua were officially twinned on 3rd November 2023.  

Prince Albert II is pictured centre stage with the Monegasque and Italian retinues at the Mairie de Monaco. Photo credit: Monaco Communications Department

In the morning, Mayor of Monaco Georges Marsan met with his Dolceacqua counterpart, Fulvio Gazzola, to sign a “twinning oath” at the Maire de Monaco.

Prince Albert II of Monaco was in attendance, as were Italy’s Ambassador to Monaco, Giulio Alaimo, and Anne Eastwood, Monaco’s Ambassador to Italy, as well as several Monegasque and Italian authorities.  

Accompanied by the Municipal Band of Monaco, the group took the short walk to the Palais, where Prince Charlene was waiting, for a special viewing of the historical 1523 oath in its original version.  

The original copy of Dolceacqua’s fidelity oath that was sworn to Monaco in 1523. Photo credit: Monaco Communications Department

The afternoon began with a second signing event held in the church square of Dolceacqua in the presence of both the Monegasque and Italian retinues, as well as members of the public. 

Then, with the formalities out of the way, the party could start and lasted until evening fell.  


The twinning is a natural progression for the two locations, who have grown closer in the past decade. The Ligurian enclave is a proud member of the Grimaldi Historic Sites network and Prince Albert was made honorary citizen of Dolceacqua in 2018 on back of a series of official visits aimed at solidifying ties.  

In April of this year, a Julien Spiewak photographic exhibition entitled ‘Monaco-Dolceacqua 500’ was held with great success in both the Grands Appartements of the Palais Princier and the Castello dei Doria of Dolceacqua.  

Dolceacqua is the third municipality to be twinned with Monaco, after Belgium’s Ostend in 1958 and Lucciana in Corsica in 2009. 

On 4th November, Prince Albert also made a special visit to the villages of Isolabona, Apricale and Perinaldo to officially welcome these Dolceacqua neighbours into the Grimaldi Historic Sites network.  

Click on the images below to see more:



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Photos credits: Ed Wright Images, Michael Alesi, Eric Mathon, Axel Bastello, Mairie de Monaco and Palais Princier de Monaco

National Council calls for “concrete actions” to end bullying in Monaco schools

monaco bullying

The president of Monaco’s National Council, Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, has used the International Day Against Violence and Bullying in Schools to make clear her commitments to ending harassment in schools and has called on the government for support.

The International Day Against Violence and Bullying in Schools including Cyberbullying, which is held each year on 2nd November, seeks to raise awareness on the different forms that the bullying of school age children can take, from overt schoolyard taunts to more insidious online attacks. 

All forms are damaging, and children who are bullied can develop low self-esteem and experience higher rates of depression as they grow up. In France, it is estimated that nearly one in 10 children are victims of this kind of behaviour. 


As part of International Day Against Violence and Bullying in Schools including Cyberbullying, Monaco’s National Council President Brigitte Boccone-Pagès, as well as Mathilde Le Clerc, the president of the Committee on Education, Youth and Sports, came together to reiterate their shared commitment to eradicating harassment in Monaco’s schools.  

The issue has been a priority of elected officials since 2019, when they started the ball rolling on legislation to tackle the problem by incorporating penalties for school bullying into the Principality’s legal framework. The complete bill, signed in 2021, is intended “to better prevent, detect and resolve bullying situations by providing an appropriate and dissuasive criminal response”.  

A “national cause”

The bill was made law in September 2022 and various actions have been implemented in Monaco’s schools since, such as awareness activities and classes for students, the appointment of a harassment-violence representative who acts as an intermediary in matters of bullying, and teacher and staff training programmes to help educators spot and deal with these types of situations as they arise. 

With the 2023 Amending Budget debates continuing in the Council, Le Clerc has requested the government step in and provide a dedicated budget, as well as “concrete actions”, to further combat bullies.  

“The State must commit to making the fight against this scourge a national cause” she said. “It is up to the government to provide a response commensurate with the challenge and the suffering of the young victims and of their families.” 


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Photo source: Nadine Shaabana, Unsplash

Rare €50 coin marking Prince Rainier III centenary goes on sale in Monaco

Prince Albert II and Princess Stéphanie have been presented with a specially minted €50 coin commemorating 100 years since the birth of their father Prince Rainier III, and currently worth €2,500.

Prince Albert on Thursday inaugurated a new coin exhibition titled ‘The Duchy-Pairie of Valentinois’, a former Grimaldi stronghold, which is currently on show at the Monaco Stamps and Coins Museum (Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies de Monaco).

During the occasion, he was presented with the €50 gold coin, commemorating the centenary of the birth of Prince Rainier III, alongside his sister Princess Stéphanie, president of the Prince Rainier III Commemoration Committee, and her son Louis Ducruet.

A museum designed to protect Monegasque history

As heir to his ancestors’ passion for philately, Prince Rainier III considered the stamp to be “the first ambassador of a country”. It is on this basis that he founded the Musée des Timbres et des Monnaies de Monaco within the Palace in 1950 using his own collection, with the aim of classifying, conserving and showcasing collections created by Prince Albert I and Priince Louis II.

In 1996, the Museum of Stamps and Coins was moved to its current location in Fontvielle.

Limited edition €50 Prince Rainier III coin

The gold coin bears the double effigy of Prince Rainier III, and is designed to “recall the longevity and importance of his reign”. It is particularly unique because it is the first time that a €50 coin has been minted by Monaco. Only 499 copies were produced and are available for sale at the Museum of Stamps and Coins at a price of €2,500.

Valentinois exhibition

The exhibition of prestigious coins and historical documents on Valentinois, the Grimaldi stronghold from 1642, is built from the former collection of numismatist Régis Chareyron, acquired by Prince Albert II.

Valentinoise coins range from the end of the 12th to the beginning of the 15th century. Added to this are the Monegasque coins bearing the title of Duke of Valentinois, from Prince Honoré II to Prince Antoine I and Prince Jacques I.

The public is able to view the exhibition from 2nd to 5th November, and guided tours are offered by Professor Jean‐Louis Charlet, curator of the exhibition, on November 3rd, 4th and 5th at 10am, 11am, 3pm and 4pm.


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Photo: HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Honorary President of the Commemoration Committee of Prince Rainier III, with HSH Princess Stéphanie, President of the Commemoration Committee of Prince Rainier III; Lara Terlizzi-Enza, Director of the Office of Postage Stamp Issues, and Louis Ducruet, member of the Prince Rainier III Commemoration Committee. Credit: Frédéric Nebinger, Government Communication Department