The 24,492gt, 670-passenger capacity vessel delivered by Swan Hunter in 1972 to Norwegian American Line as Vistafjord, is the last cruise vessel built on the Tyne. Having previously docked Spirit of Adventure in 2011 for Saga, the 13-day renewal Saga Ruby drydocking project required flexibility on the part of the yard, which was called upon to adapt its original repair plan to take account of additional works.
Emerging work included repairs to items of hull damage, a wing tank, boiler supports, bulkheads in the tailshaft tunnel and sewage tanks. Six engine room coolers also had to be removed, cleaned and reinstalled and a new alternator fitted.
John Taylor, Gibdock operations director, remarked, ‘One of the challenges, as is often the case with cruise ships, was getting access to the damaged areas. For example, some cabins had to be cleared, pipes removed and water supplies shut down. The process was managed safely and efficiently, minimising any delays and disruption.’
Two new sewage treatment units were fitted during Saga Ruby’s drydocking. This required cutting a 2.4mtr x 2mtr access window in the side shell, and an extensive internal area had to be cleared and pipes disconnected. Despite the additional work, Saga Ruby left the yard’s No. 1 dock in Gibraltar on schedule on January 25.
Upon delivery to her new owners the vessel's named was changed to Oasia, and FleetPro Ocean became the technical manager(reported here last week). The plan is to use the ship as a hotel vessel in the Far East whilst maintaining it as a fully classed and registered cruise vessel so that it can be used at any time for cruising.