Cruise Ship Repairs Start at Harland & Wolff; Yard Eyes New builds

Harland & Wolff cranes, Belfast (May... © Albert Bridge cc-by-sa ...
Two massive cranes at the Harland and Wolff dockyard.

Harland & Wolff is surging back onto the cruise ship repair scene as the ship repair facility is hosting a trio of Viking ships, the Sky, Sun and Sea, in Belfast

Since acquiring Harland and Wolff in December 2019, the new Harland & Wolff team has been quick to realize their strategic ambitions to enter the cruise sector, according to a statement from the shipyard.

Strict protocols were put in place to ensure compliance with all public health guidelines, some of which will be maintained for the foreseeable future as a precautionary measure. While undertaking dockings during the COVID-19 lockdown and with OEM’s unable to travel the yard, teams have made extensive use of video conferencing, enabling OEMs to be virtually involved during maintenance activities onboard the vessels, according to the shipyard.

The yard said the cruise Industry is under financial strain during the pause in operations and has worked with its financial partners to put in place several extended credit term schemes, allowing owners to fully capitalize on periods where vessels are out of service and have works undertaken during this out-of-service period.

Viking Ships at Harland & Wolff
Viking Sky and Viking Sea docking in Belfast.

In addition, yard executives said they not only want to target drydock and repair projects but return to building ships, most likely starting with small expedition-type vessels.

John Wood Group CEO of Harland & Wolff said: “We are delighted to welcome Viking Sky, Sun and Sea to our facilities in Belfast, this is the first time we have had three cruise vessels docked in Harland & Wolff for many decades. Harland & Wolff was once a market leader in this sector and this is a title we are keen to hold again. On the doorstep of the Mediterranean, the UK is in a prime location for refits, conversions and revitalizations. With our vast facilities set in 85 acres, we can handle several large cruise ships concurrently, as demonstrated by the arrival of three vessels from Viking for minor repairs and upgrade works. With two of the largest docks in Europe and the only yard in the UK that can accept the majority of the works cruise ships demand, we look forward to increasing our presence within the cruise sector as we move forward.

“In order to future-proof our yard we are currently scenario-planning to ensure we can welcome all future cruise vessels as they continue the trend of increasing in size,” Wood said .”The cruise sector will be a key cornerstone of our business going forward. With 70% of shipyards closed during the global pandemic, we are now seeing the implications of this as we start to emerge from the crisis, we have witnessed a substantial increase in inquires from the cruise sector with numerous live inquires at this time. It is possible that owners will face delays as they try to get vessels back into service as the industry ramps up again, global availability of drydocks essential to returning vessels into service where they have slipped out of class will be fully occupied not just with cruise vessels but overall sectors that have had dockings cancelled”

Carnival switching the Liberty and Valor

Image result for carnival liberty

Carnival Liberty

The Carnival Liberty’s propulsion problems persist, so Carnival Cruise Line said it will continue to operate modified cruises from Galveston, Texas, through the month of November to account for the ship’s inability to reach maximum speed.

The five-day cruise departing Nov. 26 will be the Liberty’s last from Galveston, as the ship will enter a previously scheduled drydock after that sailing and then be redeployed to Port Canaveral, Fla., to operate short Bahamas cruises starting Dec. 15. The Carnival Valor, meanwhile, will reposition to Galveston from Port Canaveral.

“This change is being made since Carnival Valor is better suited to operate at the higher speeds required for the four- and five-day Mexico itineraries from Galveston while Carnival Liberty is well equipped to handle shorter duration cruises from Central Florida,” Carnival said in a statement.

Carnival said its technical team, with the help of outside contractors, “continue to work to fully resolve” the Liberty’s propulsion problem.

Carnival canceled two Liberty cruises, the Oct. 31 and Nov. 5 departures, because of the technical issue, and it has modified the Nov. 10, 14, 19 and 26 departures.

For the four- and five-day cruises, Carnival is canceling calls at Progreso, Mexico. During the seven-day cruise departing Nov. 19, calls in Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica, have been scrubbed. All of the modified cruises’ departure and return times have been adjusted.

Guests sailing on these voyages will receive a $50-per-person credit to their shipboard accounts and a 25% discount on a future Carnival cruise. Guests also have the option of canceling and receiving a full refund.

To allow sufficient time for the Valor to reposition to Galveston, the ship’s four-day cruise departing Port Canaveral on Dec. 11 will be shortened to three days. Guests sailing on this voyage will receive a one-day, prorated refund of their cruise fare and a $25 per-person credit to their shipboard account. Guests also have the option of canceling and receiving a full refund.

Carnival will automatically transfer reservations for guests on the Liberty to the Valor and vice versa. Carnival noted that the Valor and Liberty are sister ships with similar accommodations and public venues, including Guy’s Burger Joint, the BlueIguana Cantina, the RedFrog Rum Bar and the BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

Royal Caribbean makes ship change for summer 2015

By Tom Stieghorst
Royal Caribbean will send the Explorer of the Seas to Europe in the summer of 2015 instead of the Adventure of the Seas as previously announced.

Adventure of the Seas will continue to sail from San Juan while Explorer will homeport at Southampton, England, and offer three- to 16-day roundtrip cruises from late April through September 2015.

Prior to starting European service, Explorer will have a month-long drydock to be revitalized and receive features such as virtual balconies.

Last week, an Adventure of the Seas cruise was delayed in San Juan for three days after propulsion issues led Royal Caribben to replace the ship’s propellers, which took longer than expected.

The delayed cruise was the final one before a scheduled drydock for maintenance.