First-class refits with Damen Shiprepair Brest

Its successful refurbishment of Norwegian Breakaway shows why its skilled team, well-equipped facilities and convenient location make it an ideal partner for ship renovations

First-class refits with Damen Shiprepair Brest
326-metre-long Norwegian Breakaway docked in Damen Shiprepair’s Brest shipyard on 11 April 2018 for refurbishments

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2018 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Boasting a worldwide network of 18 well-equipped ship repair and conversion yards – including 12 in North West Europe – Damen Shiprepair & Conversion is top of the list for many cruise and ferry operators when they need to repair or refurbish their vessels. Between them, the 18 yards have more than 50 floating and (covered) drydocks, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. This enables Damen’s skilled teams to carry out everything from minor repairs for class maintenance, to complex refits and conversion projects. In total, Damen completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyages.

Located in Brittany, France, Damen Shiprepair Brest (DSBr) is a popular choice for cruise lines who are operating itineraries in the North West of Europe. This spring, for example, Norwegian Cruise Line chose the shipyard to complete an 11-day scheduled maintenance and renovation project on Norwegian Breakaway.

“The client chose us for this project not only because we are capable of handling a ship of this size, but also because we are close to the major cruise terminal at Southampton in the UK, which was Norwegian Breakaway’s last port of call,” says Laurent Salou, project manager at DSBr. 

Arriving in Brest on 11 April, the 326-metre-long Norwegian Breakaway docked in DSBr’s 420-metre Number 3 dry dock as the shipyard’s team worked with service engineers from ABB Marine to repair the shaft bearings and replace the slewing seals on her to ABB azipod propulsion units. DSBr and ABB worked closely with other teams at the shipyard to ensure that no dust or contaminants entered the complex systems inside the Azipods while the propellers were being removed and repaired. 

At the same time, DSBr technicians also worked with Brunvoll to perform maintenance work on Norwegian Breakaway’s three bow thrusters and dismantle, repair and refit the two Fincantieri stabilisers. The hull was also fully repainted, including the decorative artwork on the vessel’s bow.

Several of Norwegian Breakaway’s interiors were also upgraded during her stay in the dry dock. DSBr worked with a specialist contractor to manage a project to remove and replace large quantities of the vessel’s carpets. DSBr managed the logistical flow, ensuring that old carpets were removed on time, so new rolls could be fitted immediately. In its role as project manager, DSBr also erected interior scaffolding and provided materials and tools for other subcontractors. 

DSBr surpassed its own and Norwegian’s expectations, delivering the refurbished vessel six hours ahead of schedule. 

“I truly believe that all the personnel at DSBr really appreciated the opportunity to work on Norwegian Breakaway as the collaboration with the ship’s staff was more than excellent during the entire dry dock period,” says Salou. “The client was also very satisfied with the works that we performed on Norwegian Epic in 2015 and I am pleased to be able to report that the client was very happy with the performance of the DSBr workers and the yard on this project as well.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Tuesday, February 5, 2019