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200th dry-docking at Forgacs Cairncross, Brisbane

John Treacy
George Windram with Dawn Princess in the background
Princess Cruises’ 77,000gt Dawn Princess, permanently positioned in Australia since October 2008, became the 200th ship to dry-dock at Forgacs Cairncross Dockyard in Brisbane yesterday.

Dawn Princess was the largest ship to dry-dock in Australia when she first entered the Forgacs shipyard on the Brisbane River in the suburb of Morningside in June 2009 for a multi-million dollar makeover that included the installation of a giant poolside screen for Movies Under the Stars and a child-free Sanctuary.

The 263mtr dry-dock was developed nearly 70 years ago for wartime service in 1942. Stephen Forgacs, who bought Newcastle Engineering in 1962 and has seven sites on Australia’s east coast, acquired the facility in 1999. It has been refurbishing cruise ships since P&O Cruises Australia’s former 46,000gt steam turbine Pacific Sky was dry-docked in 2000.  

Forgacs Engineering’s global sales director, George Windram, said Dawn Princess, which will undock May 30, will dominate the skyline and bring significant economic benefit to the local community.

Windram said more than 250 Forgacs employees and sub-contractors will work around-the-clock on internal and underwater maintenance and a similar number of specialist contractors will work on the internal refit and refurbishment.

‘The fast-track expansion of the Australian cruising industry in recent  years has provided a new niche market and Forgacs has grasped the opportunity with both hands and is now recognised as the ship-repairer of choice in Australia for many of the world-wide cruise ship operators,’ he said.

‘Forgacs Engineering is extremely proud to be an important part of Carnival’s supply chain for the refurbishment and refits of the Carnival Australia fleet of cruise ships operating in the Australian region.’