The importance of adapting to change in shipbuilding

With a base in Cadiz on Spain’s Atlantic coast, Navantia is conveniently located to carry out a range of projects on cruise vessels

The importance of adapting to change in shipbuilding
Thomson Dream visited Navantia's Cadiz cruise base in 2017

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

In 2010, Spanish shipbuilding company Navantia made the decision to further diversify and capitalise on the strengths and specialisations of its respective yards. It was decided that the Atlantic port of Cadiz, Spain, would be the ideal location for the company’s cruise vessel repair work.

Although there was much excitement about this move, there were also some concerns. Up until that time, while Navantia’s customer base was diverse, the exposure to cruise vessel projects was quite limited.

Now, within the cruise industry, Navantia specialises in a wide spectrum of projects, ranging from routine regulatory dockings to 40-day revitalisation projects. The company is able to manage projects involving smaller expedition and luxury vessels, all the way up to the biggest passenger ships, and guarantees a team of experienced workers who will meet the quality and commitment standard required to meet deadlines and budget.

The shipyard at Cadiz has one of the largest repair docks in Europe and can host almost any cruise vessel. Dock number four at Cadiz measures 386 metres by 66 metres, and is able to handle vessels of up to 440,000 deadweight tonnage. The dock is equipped with all the required elements necessary for work on cruise vessels. The yard itself offers a range of traditional trades and access to nearly anything an owner might require during a vessel’s time at a shipyard.

A highlight for Navantia in 2017 was a three-week revitalisation and repair programme on two older cruise vessels, operated by one of Navantia’s long-time customers. This work included a rebranding project, as the vessel was sold and modified to cater to the new owner’s target market.

A further highlight was a technical stop performed on a cruise vessel while passengers were still on board. This was a real challenge for Navantia, specifically in terms of coordination with Cadiz’s port authority, but was successfully carried out.

After a period of commercial projects, Navantia’s cruise vessel business resumes in March 2018. The company will be executing a five-week revitalisation projects that will include a vessel sale and brand change for two other long-time Navantia customers. In conclusion, with the gracious patience of its clients, Navantia has had to evolve and adapt its pre-2010 capabilities and project approaches to better suit the needs of these major cruise vessel projects. By doing this, the company is better placed to serve the cruise market moving forward.

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Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley
18 May 2018

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