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Articles from 2011 In August


Tahiti’s Aranui 3 to be upgraded before 2012 season

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Aranui 3 was custom-built at the Severnav Shipyard in Romania and entered service in 2003.

The upgrade will include new carpets, the re-upholstering of dining room chairs and an engine overhaul. Her hull will be scraped and repainted.

The air-conditioned  200-passenger ship, which flies the French flag and has a Polynesian crew of 60, has a sun-deck, swimming pool, gym, library, dining room, bars and lounges. Complimentary wine is served with meals which feature French and Polynesian cuisine.

The crew teach passengers to weave hats and show them how to wear the pareo and dance the tamure. Activities include snorkelling and diving and guest lecturers discuss the history and culture of the Marquesas, made famous by French painter Paul Gauguin who is buried in Calvary Cemetery, overlooking Atuona Bay on the island of Hiva O’a.

Aranui 3 will operate 16 14-day voyages ex-Papeete from February 4 to December 15 next year.

Tahiti Travel Connection in North Sydney, a preferred partner of Tahiti Tourisme, has 2012 prices. Standard cabins with facilities cost from A$5,463 per person twin-share.

American Queen arrives in Louisiana for refurbishment

Greg Brown
American Queen en route to Bayou Calcasieu

‘Our goal is for her to emerge from the yard like new,’ said Tim Rubacky, svp of the Great American Steamboat Co.

‘This is a momentous occasion at the company, our first major milestone,’ he told Seatrade Insider. ‘It was a beautiful day.’

Capt. John Boyle, chief mate John Cook and engineer Marvin Williams were aboard the tug-assisted vessel, which had been under the care of the US Maritime Administration since late 2008 after sailing briefly for Majestic America Line.

The 418-foot American Queen, the largest paddlewheeler steamboat ever built, was acquired by HMS Global Maritime and is scheduled to begin operations for its affiliate, the Great American Steamboat Co., in April.

During an earlier interview, Great American Steamboat Co. president Christopher Kyte described the condition of the 1995-built vessel as ‘excellent,’ adding: ‘The government did a beautiful job of keeping it.’

Kyte said American Queen could be ready to sail in a matter of weeks but a drydock of several months is planned that, among other things, will add technological upgrades to improve operating efficiency.

Costa outlines €90m transformation for ‘neoRomantica’

Costa outlines €90m transformation for ‘neoRomantica’

San Giorgio del Porto, owned by Genova Industrie Navali Holding Co., will be supported by sister yard T. Mariotti for the transformation. As earlier reported, the loss of the business touched off a week of strikes at Fincantieri’s Palermo repair yard.

The extensive make-over will include the construction of new areas including a wine bar, coffee bar, show lounge bar, Samsara Spa and spa accommodations. Capacity and gross tonnage will increase.

Sweden’s Tillberg Design and London’s Syntax have been commissioned for the interior design.

The wine bar will offer 100 labels and a wide selection of cheeses from around the world, while the coffee bar will also serve sweets. The new show lounge bar will have a dance floor. Also planned are a cabaret and a nightclub.

The Samsara Spa will consist of a wellness area with gym, a thalassotherapy pool, treatment rooms, sauna and Turkish bath. There will be 50 Samsara Spa cabins and six spa suites. A restaurant for passengers in Samsara Spa accommodations is planned, too.

Costa neoRomantica will also have a club restaurant for fine dining with menus by award-winning chefs.

During the Genoa drydock, two new half-decks will be added along with 111 cabins, and 120 cabins and suites with balconies will be created. Capacity will increase from 1,697 to 1,800 passengers, while the number of cabins will go from 678 to 789 and gross tonnage will increase from 53,000 to approximately 56,000.

From late February, Costa neoRomantica will sail 11-day cruises to the Canary Islands from Savona. Next summer the ship will be positioned in Europe for new two-week itineraries.

Romantica’s sister ship, Costa Classica, is next up for refurbishment, with the work to be performed next year. A contract for the job has yet to be awarded, though both Fincantieri and T. Mariotti are expected to bid.

QM2 adds winter mini-cruise as refit takes less time than planned

QM2 adds winter mini-cruise as refit takes less time than planned

Peter Shanks, Cunard president and managing director, explains: 'We have been able to introduce this extra pre-Christmas sailing because Queen Mary 2’s planned refit in November can be completed in less time than we allowed.'

In the drydocking, all the cabins and most of the public rooms on the ship will be refurbished.

The itinerary for the Southampton roundtrip voyage features Le Havre (for Paris) and Zeebrugge (for Bruges), as well as a day at sea.

Blake launched their first album in 2007, and saw it go straight to number one in the UK Classical Album Chart. In 2008, the group secured a Brit Award for Album of the Year. They have subsequently sold over half a million albums.

Scanjet Macron completes tank level retrofit on Hanseatic

Scanjet Macron completes tank level retrofit on Hanseatic

'We knew the existing system quite well, but we had no possibility to be onboard before the docking to check what was working and could be used, what was not working, and also how to install the measuring cabinets and interface with the automation system onboard,' says Peter E. Köhler,  Scanjet Macron managing director in Finland.

'Together with the chief engineer we found easy-to-access locations for the new cabinets. Supports for the cabinets had to be made and welded and new piping for supply air to the cabinets had to be pulled. We also reduced the number of original small measuring cabinets using our larger cabinets thus saving space and costs,' he adds.

'We used the existing cabling and upgraded the communication to modern digital Modbus. In order to get the tank levels to the automation system, we developed completely new communication units acting like the ship’s digital automation system sending queries to the measuring cabinets for tank levels,' expresses Köhler. The tank levels were then converted into analogue output signals using our converter cards and connected to the automation system.

International rules demand that all tanks influencing a vessel’s stability must be sounded for tank level. For practical reasons, remote sounding was developed many years ago on passenger ships because of the large number of tanks and compartments. Once a pressure transmitter inside a tank is damaged, this transmitter cannot be replaced unless the tank is empty and accessible.

For fuel tanks, side penetration is not accepted for passenger ships due to fire risks. So also for fuel tanks the pressure transmitter must be located inside the tank. These transmitters are often damaged by pressure shocks when filling the tanks, or by high temperature inside the tanks.

Electro-pneumatic systems do not have the problems pressure transmitters have, recounts Köhler. The sensors are located inside the measuring cabinets, and are easily accessible for checking the performance of the sensors and the system. Using the ship’s instrument air, the electro-pneumatic sensors measure the fluid pressure inside the tanks. This pressure is converted into tank levels considering the density of fluid inside the tank.

All measuring lines are automatically cleaned by the air pressure, making the system self-cleaning.  

'Scanjet Macron’s tank level gauging system has been developed based on the extensive experience we have from various tank level gauging systems, and several hundreds of ships on which we have installed electro-pneumatic and other tank level gauging system,' says Köhler.

In the event of a sensor problem, performance can be checked locally in the cabinet. A damaged sensor can be replaced by the crew in less than five minutes without any calibration needed. All other tanks are measuring the tank levels when the damaged sensor is replaced so no need to shut down the system, remarks the Scanjet Macron chief.