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Bolidt’s Future Teak expands in the river cruise market

Future Teak, the environmentally-friendly decking and flooring material from Bolidt found onboard an increasing number of ocean-going cruise ships, is expanding its presence in the river cruise market.

The company’s latest order sees Future Teak specified for a further six latest-generation luxury river-going vessels to be built at Neptun Werft, Germany for Viking River Cruises.

Viking River Cruises recently extended its newbuild programme to a US$400m, three-year fleet upgrade commitment, which commenced with the delivery of the 188-passenger capacity Viking Prestige last year.

A further six ships in the Viking Longships series - Viking Odin, Viking Idun, Viking Njord, Viking Freya, Viking Embla and Viking Aegir - will be delivered in 2012, while in March Viking confirmed contracts for a further six vessels of the same design for delivery in 2013.

All 12 are designed by naval architects Yran & Storbraaten, of Oslo, and Los Angeles-based Rottet Studio and will feature the same, extensive supply of Bolidt decking systems.

Jacco Van Overbeek, Bolidt director, shipbuilding, says: ‘We had experience of working with Neptun Werft. When the yard secured the Viking Prestige order it was a natural progression. Good experience with this newbuilding led to us securing the highly prestigious project to supply the remaining vessels.’

Each Longship can take 190 passengers and has 95 outside staterooms. The latter include two Explorer Suites, with private wraparound verandas, offering 270 degree views; seven two-room Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom; 39 Veranda Staterooms; and 22 staterooms with French balconies. Each also features a new all-weather Aquavit Terrace at the bow, with a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area.

Bolidt is installing Future Teak on all cabin balconies and verandas, and in forward lounge decks (indoors and outdoors), the embarkation decks and shuffleboard areas on the top decks, and on staircases and main entrances. Its inclusion is part of the owner’s commitment to environmental ship design: the Longship class are fitted with hybrid diesel engines, for example. ‘Future Teak fitted in perfectly with the overall philosophy,’ says van Overbeek.

The material is synthetic and replicates the look and feel of traditional teak decks, but is ecologically more responsible. ‘In addition Future Teak is able to offer the owner significant benefits in terms of weight savings, reduced installation time and easier onboard maintenance,’ he says.

Bolidt Future Teak is being installed on the Viking River Cruises vessels by the Dutch company’s team of craftsmen, typically working in teams of 4-6 at Neptun Werft. ‘There are greater challenges in working on such vessels when compared with ocean cruise ships, as a lot of contractors work in relatively tight spaces at the same time,’ Mr Van Overbeek observes.

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