Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

4 9 carrying luggage, for which Inchcape called on the services of a local carpenter to install boarding. Subsequently, they had to be made safe with nailed-on doormats after mud and rain turned them into dangerous slippery chutes. Inchcape enlisted security personnel for Romantika and there was an urgent lockdown when it was learned Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior would be docking near the vessel, prompting fears the ship would be boarded by protesters, though this ultimately proved unfounded, said Landry. There were also public health issues as all passengers and crew were required to wear face masks and had to be tested daily for Covid-19 before workers could be despatched to the conference, but several positive cases onboard meant these had to be whisked away in Covid taxis for quarantine. In addition, there was a multi-ethnic mix of nationalities onboard – all UK residents but originating from countries like India, Pakistan, Burma, Fiji, Nigeria and Samoa – that “made for a cultural integration challenge”, said L&K team member Kelly Battles. “Responding to everyone’s needs kept us on our toes.” As a result, L&K was suddenly confronted with the requirement for halal catering for around 80 per cent of the passengers – a much higher proportion than first thought – but Inchcape was able to procure the necessary food deliveries from local caterers within 48 hours. L&K’s proactive hands-on approach and expertise in troubleshooting logistical challenges have subsequently drawn the praise of both charterers who said that “they couldn’t have done it without us”, according to Landry. The dramas onboard were compounded by the weather as high winds and rain battered the ships, which resulted in damage to Romantika’s gangway and the more exposed Silja Europa almost being ripped from its moorings one night when Inchcape again came to the rescue by procuring tugboats to push the vessel against the dock. “It would have been nice to have an easier charter to start our partnership,” admitted Holmes.“But it really stresstested our ability to work under pressure when the stakes are high and demonstrated our common corporate culture with a cando, solution-oriented attitude. The intrinsic trust we have developed at corporate level has now been transmitted on the ground. “Pulling off this highly complex project together has fortified our relationship and we are so pleased to partner with L&K, leaders in global ship charters. As global leaders in port services, our combined experience offers an unbeatable package to our clients.” CFR Repurposing of King George V dock (top). Members the team gathered infront of Romantika (above)