Four cruise ships have determined the course of events at shipyard Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven in Germany in the past few months, and at the same time ensured a good workload for the longstanding concern.
Shipowners utilised the available time to make their vessels fit for service prior to the summer cruise shipping season and the relocation of cruise ships to Northern Europe.
The AIDAvita of Rostock, operated by AIDA Cruises, led the way, dry docking for 10 days at the end of March – for the first time in the shipyard’s large Kaiserdock II – before the start of the new, so-called ‘selection programme’.
Regular routine technical classification and maintenance work was carried out by Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven personnel on the 203m-long cruise ship, which was built in Wismar, Germany, in 2002. There were also numerous jobs for completion in the vessel’s public areas, many of which were renovated by AIDA Cruises itself. Lloyd Werft’s experienced personnel were on hand here to provide technical support to the owner.
During her dry dock time at the yard, the jobs included new coating – a task that required about 9,000 litres of paint. The ship’s bow thrusters and both of her propeller drives were inspected, as were her side-mounted hull stabilisers. The ship’s davits were inspected. The lifeboats were serviced at the Fassmer Shipyard in Berne, Germany, at the same time.
The 135.1m-long cruise ship Minerva also underwent general maintenance and class work in Floating Dock III at roughly the same time. Minerva was built at the Mariotti Shipyard in Genoa, Italy, in 1996, has a capacity of 350 passengers in 198 cabins, and has already served under the charter name Alexander von Humboldt for Phoenix Seereisen.
Minerva is not entirely unknown at Lloyd Werft: five years ago the yard installed an additional deck with a lounge on the ship, built in new suites, and added balconies to more of her cabins. To reduce fuel consumption, the yard also installed a Promas plant from Rolls-Royce to optimise below-surface water flow.
Another familiar face at the yard in April was the expedition cruise ship National Geographic Explorer, which was paying her fifth docking visit to Bremerhaven. The 112m-long ship, belonging to Lindblad Expeditions, arrived straight after a voyage of several weeks from the Antarctic for routine maintenance and class work. It was carried out by Lloyd Werft personnel in Floating Dock VI of neighbouring German Dry Docks (GDD) in Kaiserhafen 1.
That ice-strengthened ship was built in 1982 in Norway as Midnatsol for the Hurtigruten shipping company, for service on the legendary post ship route between Bergen and Northern Norway. After her first big conversion in Bremerhaven 29 years ago, the ship was converted into a cruise ship in Gothenburg in 2007, getting, among other things, 69 outside cabins and 12 balcony cabins for a total of 148 passengers. These days the Bahamas-flag mini-cruise ship operates in some of the most remote regions of the world’s seas.
Plantours Kreuzfahrten in Bremen also operates its cruise ship away from the usual routes plied by the big shipping companies – and has been rewarded many times for doing so. On completion of a Western Europe cruise, Plantours’s small 144m-long cruise ship Hamburg headed for Bremerhaven to discharge about 350 guests at the Columbus Cruise Center on 26 April. She then headed straight into dock for maintenance and class work.
Because docks were well booked, this job was also carried out in Floating Dock 5 at German Dry Docks – but by specialists from Lloyd Werft. After her yard stay, she headed for Hamburg where her next cruise began from the Hafencity Cruise Terminal on 10 May. - July 2017