Necdet Ali Yildirim previously sailed between Turkish port of Çeşme and the Greek island of Chios (Image: Oliver Design)
Spanish naval design and architecture firm Oliver Design is to convert a Turkish passenger ferry into a luxury cruise ship for UK operator Magna Carta Steamship Company.
Previously named Necdet Ali Yildirim, the Turkey-flagged ferry operated passenger services between the Turkish port of Çeşme and the Greek island of Chios. The 398gt vessel, which currently has two decks and is 42 metres wide, will be transformed into a four-deck cruise ship with accommodation for 50 passengers and 17 crew members during her dry dock at Armada shipyards in Vigo, Spain.
Serving as project manager, Oliver Design will work alongside Spanish engineering firm Insenaval to plan the technical aspects of the redesign and structural alterations. This will include adding an extra deck, extending the ship’s length by two metres and beam by one metre, fitting a new steel bow, adding greater height above the waterline, installing electrical, piping, HVAC and safety systems. The vessel will also be fitted with new railings, windows, skylights, hatches and a retractable mast on the bridge.
Oliver Design will also be responsible for completely reconfiguring the interiors to include a new restaurant and galley, bar and lounge area, guest cabins and suites, crew’s quarters, audio and video equipment, and more. Most of the work will be carried out in dry dock and some will be completed with the help of several contractors.
Following her delivery in September 2019, the vessel will be re-registered under the British flag and rechristened Lord of the Highlands. She will join her sister, Lord of the Glens, which Oliver Design converted from a Greek ferry into a cruise ship for Magna Carta in 2000. The two vessels will operate week-long cruises on the historic Caledonian Canal route between Loch Ness and the Hebrides Islands.
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