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Articles from 2011 In November


Lloyd Werft ends the year with flurry of cruise repairs

Lloyd Werft ends the year with flurry of cruise repairs

One of the main jobs being undertaken in the giant Kaiserdock 11 is the installation of a new bulbous bow. 'This will save the owner about five percent on fuel costs', said Lloyd Werft managing director Rüdiger Pallentin.

The Bonn-based shipowner is also sending Amadea for repairs to Lloyd Werft.
The 192.5mtr long ship was built as Asuka in Japan in 1991 for NYK and has flown the Phoenix flag since 2006.

Extensive repair work is scheduled for the vessel in Lloyd Werft’s floating dock from December 4. Stabilisers and crankshaft plant will be overhauled and steel work undertaken as well as painting work on the sub-surface hull.

Along with Albatros, Amadea is due to leave the yard on December 17, prior to a world cruise.

Meanwhile Fred Olsen Cruise Lines' Black Watch has just left Lloyd Werft after undergoing a nine day conversion. The ship was lengthened at the yard in 1984, when she was called Royal Viking Star. The 28,613gt ship, built at Wärtsilä in Helsinki in 1972, was overhauled ahead of her four month world cruise starting in January 2012. Black Watch left Lloyd Werft last week.

Apart from routine hull cleaning and painting, a highlight of the work was the exchange of a complete davit and lifeboat station. In addition, both articulated stabiliser fins were overhauled ashore and the bow thruster was replaced. Steel work was required in the tanks along with maintenance and repair work in the machinery, electrical engineering and steel sectors.

Marco Polo, operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, left the German repairer last weekend after an unplanned visit to inspect her crankshaft plant ahead of her winter cruise season.

San Giorgio’s Marseille operation bags Norwegian Jade repair job

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The contract is particularly significant for San Giorgio since it represents the first that it would not have been able to handle at its Genoa home. Indeed, the company bid for and won the Chantier Naval de Marseille concession in 2010 precisely because of the constraints of space in Genoa and its need for more expansive facilities to handle the behemoths now joining the world’s cruise fleet. The Norwegian Cruise Line vessel also becomes one of the largest cruise ships ever to have been repaired in Marseille, according to port officials.

The 294mtr, 93,500gt Norwegian Jade will undergo maintenance on its propellers and a silicon paint job as well as other work. The vessel will be housed out at the Marseille yard’s number eight dock, which is 320mtr long and 50mtr wide. It will be the yard’s 23rd repair and maintenance project this year for total revenues of €10m, 70% from cruise ships.

The latest contract comes at a promising time for San Giorgio del Porto, and for luxury cruise builder T. Mariotti, its sister company in the Genova Industrie Navali (GIN) holding. San Giorgio is also handling the extensive restyling of Costa Crociere’s 18-year-old Costa Romantica, a €90m-plus job that is now under way.

Costa has discussed the contract in terms of creating almost a new ship – it will be renamed Costa neoRomantica - and it includes the addition of 111 new cabins, taking the total to 789 and the capacity of the vessel from 1,697 passengers to 1,800, as well as the extensive remodelling of the interiors of the ship.

Costa is also considering whether to put Costa Classica through a similar makeover. Interviewed in Genoa last week, GIN executives declined comment on their chances of winning this second order, but industry sources suggested that if Costa does go ahead, the company will be in pole position to secure it.

Separately, the company is also bidding on the Carnival Group’s massive Destiny project, which could see as many as 10 older vessels from across the fleet go through a similarly extensive refurbishment starting in 2013.

While conceding that the company is an outsider in the bidding alongside the giants of European shipbuilding, San Giorgio chief executive Ferdinando Garre’ also argues that, with Carnival looking to break up the orders among several bidders, and the Marseille yard quite capable of handling larger ships, the company might still look to the outcome with optimism.

T. Mariotti supremo Marco Bisagno was also optimistic for the future, despite the travails of the global economy and the difficulty of competing with the export finance capabilities available to French and German rivals. He noted that the economic crisis has understandably introduced a note of extreme caution into negotiations on newbuilding contracts, but said the company’s low cost base means it remains competitive as the world’s luxury cruise shipping companies ponder the timing of their next expansion move.

Blohm+Voss to refit Oriana and Queen Mary 2

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QM2 in an earlier drydocking at B+V

The Oriana, which was floated in to Dock 11 at the yard on November 16, will be stationed there for four weeks for extensive renovations including provision of a ‘duck tail’ to improve the stabilisation of the hull at sea, equipping with a higher number of cabins and, the conversion of some public rooms into inside and outside cabins. The pool area will also be modernised and upgraded with a new pool bar and lounge areas.

Furthermore, maintenance work also includes the removal and overhaul of the propulsion shafts at the stern, and  the engines, machinery and pipework will be overhauled or renewed respectively as well as the electrical and monitoring systems. Finally, the tank will be emptied, cleaned and inspected, whilst numerous minor steelwork will be performed.

Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to be floated in to dry dock ELBE 17 tomorrow, November 26 and will be stationed there until December 5. Work on the vessel, to be completed on time before the eighth anniversary of the ship in 2012, includes work in all cabins, the Queens and Princess Grill Restaurant, the Golden Lion Pub, the Commodore Club, the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar, the Sir Samuel's, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the kids club ‘The Zone’ and the toddlers play area ‘The Play Zone’.

In addition to laying of new carpets and the replacement of curtains and bedcovers(see earlier Trimline story), comprehensive maintenance work and inspections as well as inspections by the classification society will be performed.

Trimline secures soft furnishing return to Queen Mary 2

Trimline secures soft furnishing return to Queen Mary 2

Trimline, which originally supplied all soft furnishings on the ship and carries out interior maintenance on the vessel since it first entered service in 2004, will ship the new furnishings to Hamburg.

The outfitter will manufacture over 6,000 separate items, and it informs work on curtains, cushions, valances and chair/sofa coverings is already underway. Up to 70 Trimline personnel will work on the ship in Germany, completing the task as the ship returns to Southampton.

In addition, the Cunard flagship’s extensive makeover will entail Trimline laying some 17,000sq mtr of new carpet throughout the passenger accommodation.

‘In the same way that we supplied the original soft furnishings, this will match the biggest manufacture and fitting programme that we have undertaken and has already involved a major project management task involving our in-house specialists and suppliers,’ said Trimline sales and marketing director Mike Oliver, adding that the company has considerable experience working for Cunard.

Swan Hellenic begins 100 day countdown for Minerva

Swan Hellenic begins 100 day countdown for Minerva

The vessel is currently in the final stages of a multi-million pound refurbishment that includes extensions of the internal and external public areas as well as a new wrap-around observation lounge, the Orpheus Lounge. The Shackleton’s Bar will be extended and a new Internet Lounge will be added. Swan Hellenic has also increased the size of 32 cabins by adding balcony facilities, raising the number of balcony suites to 23% of all cabin accommodation. All 181 passenger cabins will be upgraded with new en-suite bathrooms.

‘With only 100 days before the newly refurbished Minerva sets sail, the ship’s company and our shore side team at Swan Hellenic are all very excited about this next era of cultural discovery cruising,’ said Colin Stone, md of both Swan Hellenic and Hebridean Island.

Splendour of the Seas to offer iPads in all staterooms

Splendour of the Seas to offer iPads in all staterooms

By touching the screen, passengers will be able to access the daily Cruise Compass and their personal daily itineraries including shore excursions. They also will be able to monitor their shipboard account, order room service, view restaurant menus, access the Internet and watch movies.

The iPads will be available beginning in mid-February on Splendour of the Seas before being extended to all Vision-class ships when each undergoes revitalization in the next two years.

The iPads, which will feature English and Portuguese when they debut on Splendour of the Seas, will offer passengers the opportunity to access all of their information not only from their staterooms, but through the pervasive Wi-Fi also being installed throughout the ship.

In addition to the iPads, Splendour of the Seas will emerge from its drydock on Friday with new stateroom amenities such as flat-screen televisions, new bathrooms and completely remodeled interiors including new linens and furniture.

The ship will have 124 additional balconies, and the digital wayfinding technology that debuted on the Oasis-class ships.

Splendour also will debut new dining options including the Asian Izumi restaurant, Chops Grille, the Boardwalk Dog House hotdog counter and a new à la carte menu in the Viking Crown Lounge. Additional new Royal Caribbean signature spaces are the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, a Diamond lounge, a Concierge Lounge, a Britto Gallery with works by Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto, the new R-Bar and a reinvented Centrum experience.

On Friday the ship is scheduled to depart Lisbon on a trans-Atlantic sailing to Brazil and its seasonal homeport, Santos.

Royal’s reinvented Vision-class Centrums to host aerial spectacles

Royal’s reinvented Vision-class Centrums to host aerial spectacles

The changes begin with Splendour of the Seas’ ongoing revitalization at Reparaciones Navantia in Cadiz, Spain.

The Centrum’s Champagne Bar also will be reinvented as the R Bar, featuring a sophisticated 1960s vibe with iconic furnishings and signature cocktails made by a mixologist.

The ‘rebirth’ of the 60-foot-high Centrum on the Vision-class ships ‘brings new life to a popular gathering space by incorporating innovative technology and vertical entertainment elements to what was already the place to be and be seen,’ said Lisa Bauer, svp hotel operations for RCI.

New sound and light technology will be incorporated throughout. The glass elevators facing the Centrum will feature large LED panels across their entire length, providing a backdrop of moving visuals five decks high. During the entertainment that takes place throughout the cruise, the soaring space will come alive with aerial acrobatic vignettes.

The R Bar offerings will return to the classics—gimlet, martini, brown liquors, gin and whiskeys—all served in special glassware with surprising garnishes. The venue’s mixologist, selected from the cruise line’s fleet to be the face and personality behind the bar, will create drink specials to complement each evening’s theme and aerial spectacular.

Throughout the cruise, passengers can gather in the Centrum for varied daytime activities including chef demonstrations, towel folding demonstrations, dance classes, game shows, Nintendo Wii competitions and the Captain’s Corner.

Passengers can also see performances by musicians and singers or take a spin on the dance floor at themed parties such as the Disco Inferno.

American Queen restoration recalls Tom Sawyer

American Queen restoration recalls Tom Sawyer

These are some of the many projects under way at Bollinger Shipyards in Sulphur, La., as part of the American Queen’s restoration.

One massive job is repainting the white wedding cake upperworks.

Describing this task in a blog post, Greg Brown, evp of the Great American Steamboat Co., writes that the workers feel like Tom Sawyer, facing 30 yards of picket fence with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush.

The blog, and pictures, are at www.greatamericansteamboatcompany.com/blog/2011/11/15/painting-fence.

Hapag-Lloyd's Europa emerges from 13-day facelift

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New look Lido Cafe

The focus of the works carried out during the 13-day shipyard stay was a complete facelift of the interior design of the Lido Café, which now boasts a new design of shades of beige and dark blue.

The bathrooms on Deck 9 were gutted and redesigned with light-coloured stone and granite, creating a modern ambiance. The two Penthouse Grand Suites, each measuring 85sq mtr, were also fully renovated in the living and sleeping areas as well as in the bathrooms.

In addition, a new communication system, Siemens Media4Cruises, was installed in all of the suites. The infotainment system provides live TV, music and video on demand, plus a variety of services like news and weather information, updated information about the ship and the route. The system offers guests Internet access using their own smartphones and tablet PCs.

A total of 330 shipyard workers, technicians and engineers were involved in the comprehensive refurbishment. 24 containers and three trucks delivered the required spare parts, furniture and carpets to the yard. In total, 2,000sq mtr of new carpet were fitted on Europa and 5,600 litres of paint was used both on the inside and outside of the luxury vessel.

Fincantieri to secure continued work at Castellammare yard

Fincantieri to secure continued work at Castellammare yard

At a meeting in Rome, economic development minister Paolo Romani and Fincantieri chief executive Giuseppe Bono signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at keeping the yard going and upgrading it in a bid to secure its future.

Under the terms of the agreement, Fincantieri undertook to secure continued work for the yard, initially through the construction of two patrol boats for the Coast Guard.

The €120m contract for those vessels will keep at least part of the yard working through 2013. At the same time, a Fincantieri spokesman conceded that these ships would not require detailed interior work - of a kind necessary in passenger ship construction, for instance – which would limit working hours on the project.

In addition, Fincantieri will invest in modernising the yard, which still builds and launches vessels on a slipway, and will commission Genoa-based classification society Rina to produce a feasbility study for construction of a long-discussed new dock.

For its part, the Campania regional government pledged to work to ensure that Castellammare di Stabia remained productive, in part through training and retraining of workers employed both by Fincantieri and its suppliers.

Castellammare was the first of a number of Fincantieri yards to be hit by the shipbuilding demand crisis, and has been limping along on a severely restricted diet of work for several years. Indeed, it was one of two yards targeted for closure in a Fincantieri strategy plan released and then withdrawn earlier this year.

Then as now, the issue of where new work will come from remains open, with the shipping industry under pressure, Italy’s economic situation deteriorating fast and the political system in turmoil. Similarly, whatever the results of Rina’s feasibility study on a new dock, Fincantieri and the government must still confront the reality of a demand slump and a government funding shortage.

The same applies to the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa, where the tender process for a €70m yard expansion is due to get underway shortly with a view to commencing work on the three-year project next summer.

The Sestri expansion must still hurdle some obstacles. It depends on a commencement of work on the terzo valico rail pass through the mountains behind Genoa, which will provide the fill material for the seaward expansion of Sestri.

The government must also respond to questions from the European Union, which is concerned that its funding for the expansion might count as an illegal aid to shipbuilding. Italy argues that the monies are part of a wider package targeted not at shipbuilding but at port infrastructure improvements.

Sestri will be empty of work as of March when a second Oceania newbuild is delivered, and there is serious concern for its future prospects as a shipyard even if the expansion plan goes ahead.