Upgrade of the 137,276gt vessel, a contract won by Sembawang Shipyard, follows similar work carried out by Sembawang on board the Rhapsody of the Seas in 2012 and the Legend of the Seas in 2013. Voyager of the Seas, currently the largest cruise ship homeporting in Asia, is docked in the shipyard’s Dock No. 3.
Speaking when the deal was announced back in March, Kevin Douglas, Royal Caribbean Cruises’ vp, technical projects and newbuild, praised Sembawang as a competent and efficient 'preferred partner' with which the company was happy to work on another stage of its fleet-wide revitalisation programme. Innovative and popular on-board amenities, debuted on the Oasis vessel class, would be introduced on board the Voyager of the Seas, he said, 'as well as brand new innovative concepts that will greatly elevate the experience of our guests.'
The project marks another important step in Sembawang’s drive to develop its fast-growing cruise business which includes repairs, upgrades and conversions. Six other cruise-ship repair projects have been completed so far this year. They include works undertaken on Star Cruises’ Virgo, Silverseas’ Silver Discoverer, Princess Cruises’ Diamond Princess, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ Paul Gauguin, the National Geographic Orion and Holland America Line’s Vollendam.
The latest deal also marks a key step for the vast Sembmarine Integrated yard at Tuas which is built on reclaimed land in the south-west of the island. Work has now begun on the second phase of the shipyard’s development, likely to take three to four years. This will involve the construction of two conventional Suezmax docks and a drydock of squarer dimensions for rig repairs and conversions. This will bring the shipyard’s total to seven docks and cement its position as one of the world’s largest shiprepair facilities.
Eventually, Sembcorp Marine’s shipyard network which includes Jurong, Jurong SML, PPL Shipyard, Sembawang and SOME will all be consolidated on the site. The second phase of development will add another 35 hectares at the site whilst plans for a third phase, details of which have not yet been released, could mean that the vast marine and offshore repair complex eventually covers an area of more than 200 hectares.