The Boka Vanguard, built in 2012 and operated by the Dutch speciality shipping firm Boskalis, is the largest vessel of its type in the world, capable of transporting equipment of up to 117,000 tons.
Carnival will use the ship as a floating dry dock to pick up the Vista on its platform and transport it to Grand Bahama Island, where repairs will occur.
The Boka Vanguard is a bowless ship with a flat 230-by-920 foot watertight deck. The ship’s tanks will be filled with seawater to submerge it so that the Carnival Vista can be towed over it. Then the tanks will be evacuated, raising the Vista onto the Boka Vanguard’s platform.
The Boka Vanguard is expected to arrive in Bahamian waters on July 5 to prepare for Carnival Vista’s arrival on July 12. The loading, transport and repairs are expected to take approximately two weeks, allowing Carnival Vista to return to Galveston in time for its July 27 voyage, Carnival said.
The Carnival Vista’s azipod propulsion motors will have all of the bearings replaced while it is out of service. Carnival turned to the novel solution because the drydock it would normally use at the Grand Bahama Shipyard was damaged in April by crane collapse. The cranes were attempting a repair on the Oasis of the Seas, which also needed work on its azipods.
In 2013, Costa Cruises obtained a $30 million option on the Boka Vanguard for possible use in refloating the sunken Costa Concordia in Italy, but the option expired when Costa decided on a different method of raising it.