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Damen prepares Columbus for summer cruise season

Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR), part of Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, has completed maintenance and repair works on the cruise ship Columbus, the newest member of CMV’s (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) fleet. The full scope of works was concluded within a tight timescale, thus ensuring that the vessel could sail to the London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury, UK, in time for her naming ceremony and inaugural cruise.

Several CMV vessels – the Astor, Marco Polo and the Magellan, for example – have made calls at various Damen repair yards in the past. The sheer size of the Columbus, however, meant that DSR was the suitable yard of choice in this instance. “Not only is the Columbus 245m long, she also has a draught of 8.2m,” explained DSR project manager Vincent Van Rulo.

The Columbus arrived at the Rotterdam yard on 13 May and departed just over three weeks later on 5 June. With the overall aim of bringing the vessel into line with CMV’s high operational standards, Damen carried out a comprehensive scope of maintenance and repair jobs. “After docking, we started straight away with a complete painting program. This included the application of the company logos and markings of the new owners.”

Technical work included maintenance of the main engines, generators and thrusters, as well as polishing of the ship’s propellers. Numerous valves and pipelines of various ship systems were maintained and renewed, or modified if required. The work also included maintenance of all lifeboats, tenders and davits, in addition to cleaning and repair of the ship’s tanks.

“The key part of this contract was that we had a fixed timescale – the Columbus had to be in Tilbury for her naming ceremony and then to receive her first guests on 11 June,” said Van Rulo. “This called for anticipation and fast reaction to all issues that we came across.”

The issues were diverse, and ranged from organising the repair of the ship’s washing machines to the inspection and calibration of the passenger embarkation security and detection systems.

The complexity of the project was heightened because up to 700 crew members were staying on board while the ship was docked at the yard. This substantial team of people was carrying out refitting and refurbishment of the vessel’s accommodation, shops, restaurants and recreational areas. Their work also included handling the final supplies and other preparations for the vessel’s first cruise.

“While this added to the logistical challenges of the project, we had good communication and organised everything with the ship’s crew so that we all could get the job done within the timeframe,” said Van Rulo.

- July 2017

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