How shipyards are powering through the crisis

CFR takes a look at some of the shipyard projects that have been able to go ahead during the Covid-19 pandemic

How shipyards are powering through the crisis


Fincantieri signed a contract worth over Ä200 million ($232 million) with Windstar Cruises to extend and modernise three of its ships

 Amidst a global pandemic that caused cruise and ferry operators to postpone many scheduled refit and refurbishment projects, shipyards around the world have been adjusting to the new workload. Elly Yates-Roberts takes a look at some of the projects that have still been able to go ahead.

Sembcorp Marine, Singapore 

In 2020, Sembcorp Marine transformed Princess Cruises’ Star Princess as the ship transitioned to become Pacific Encounter for P&O Cruises Australia. During the wet dock, the shipyard installed P&O funnel logos – each 20 metres wide and eight metres high – and refurbished the public spaces onboard, including the multi-storey atrium called The Lobby, with new carpets, artwork and accessories.  

Sembcorp Marine have also added some of P&O’s signature dining outlets, including the Waterfront Restaurant, Dragon Lady and Italian restaurant Angelo’s, as well as new venues 400 Gradi, a Neapolitan pizzeria by chef Johnny Di Francesco, and other offerings from Australian restaurateur Luke Mangan.  

Lloyd Werft, Germany 

Between April and August, Lloyd Werft’s long-time customer Phoenix Reisen docked its cruise ship Amadea for a routine lay-up and service and maintenance tasks. Lloyd Werft carried out a range of other services to ensure smooth running of the ship during several weeks of filming for the German TV series Dream Ship. During the ship’s 10 days in dock, the shipyard replaced one of the stabilisers and carried out anchor painting, small inspection work, new pipe installation and rudder works. 

Phoenix Reisen’s Artania also spent time at the yard from August 2020. During this time, Lloyd Werft inserted a new outer hull doorway for when the ship begins to source its electricity from shore-based plants, and carried out routine lay-up work, services and maintenance.  

In July 2020, AIDA Cruises’ AIDAdiva docked at Lloyd Werft’s 335-metre-long Kaiserdock 11 for class work. Shafts and rudders were routinely inspected, small repairs were undertaken on the outer hull and tanks, and boiler valves were overhauled. 

“The shipping companies which rely on us have spared no effort to keep their ships in very good condition, so that they can go back into service whenever they are needed,” says Rüdiger Pallentin, managing director of Lloyd Werft. “I am convinced that as vaccination progresses across the world, the travel sector will gather momentum again.” 

Navantia, Spain  

Carnival Victory will undergo an overhaul at the Navantia shipyard in Cadiz, Spain, in September 2021 that will see it renamed Carnival Radiance. As part of its refurbishments, the ship will receive four new restaurants: Cucina del Capitano, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse. The ship’s top deck will also be overhauled, with line favourite activities including a ropes course and WaterWorks being added.  

Damen Shiprepair, France and Netherlands 

In 2020, Damen Shiprepair welcomed all four Disney Cruise Line ships – Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy – to its shipyard in Brest, France, for dry docking and repairs. This was the first time that the entire Disney fleet had come together in one place. 

For the first time since the 1970s, Holland America Line returned to Damen’s shipyard in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2020 with ships Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Both vessels spent time in dry dock in preparation for their handover to new owner, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. Rotterdam was converted into Borealis and Amsterdam became Bolette, with both joining the Fred. Olsen fleet in 2020.   

In December 2020, Marella Cruises’ Marella Discovery became the biggest and heaviest ship ever to dock at Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam. Before the ship left in January 2021, Damen cleaned and painted the hull and superstructures, overhauled the rudders, carried out maintenance works on the propellers and made modifications to the engine room spaces.  

Fincantieri, Italy 

In 2018, Fincantieri signed a contract worth over Ä200 million ($232 million) with Windstar Cruises to extend and modernise three of its ships: Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride. Each of the projects involved four main activity areas: lengthening the mid-body by 26 metres; replacing the main engines; upgrading the electrical generators and automation systems; and completing an extensive interior refurbishment of public areas, passenger cabins and open decks. 

Work began on Star Breeze in 2019 and, after successful lengthening and completion of sea trials, the ship was redelivered to Windstar in early November 2020. Star Breeze is now berthed in Palermo for finishing works. Fincantieri has started work on both Star Legend and Star Pride, with the former scheduled for completion in the first half of 2021, and the latter for mid-2021. 

Fincantieri also worked on Viking Cruises’ Viking Sea in 2021 at its Trieste yard. During the ship’s time there, Fincantieri carried out dry dock works for class renewal, installed eco-friendly systems and carried out interior refurbishments. 

Fosenyard, Norway 

Hurtigruten’s Vesterålen docked at Fosenyard between October and December 2020. The yard spent this time completing interior tasks including the refurbishment of the Explorer lounge and Fyret bar. Fosenyard also replaced Vesterålen’s engines with new Rolls-Royce low-consumption biofuel engines.  

In early 2020, Fosenyard received Hurtigruten’s Otto Sverdrup (formerly Finnmarken). During its time in dock, the shipyard refurbished the vessel with Hurtigruten’s new Arctic-inspired interior, which was developed by Tillberg Design of Sweden. The yard also created new Expedition Suites on the top deck which feature separate balconies

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

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
14 May 2021

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