Giant cruise ship 'Oasis of the Seas' at Damen Verolme Rotterdam for maintenance
If any evidence is needed that Damen Verolme Rotterdam can accommodate any vessel or offshore structure afloat, then the two week visit by the 362-metre, 225,000 GT cruise ship ‘Oasis of the Seas’, one of the largest in the world, should remove any doubts.
Major works to the propulsion systems
Owner Royal Caribbean International selected the yard for an extensive programme of works to be completed within 14 days. On arrival the ship went immediately into the yard’s 405-metre dry dock for modifications to her three Azipod main propulsion units and the four bow thrusters.
At the same time work began on the most challenging aspect of the two-week project; the replacement of one of the ship’s main engines. Once in the dock the ‘Oasis of the Seas’ was settled on a 3.3-metre high dock-block arrangement, which allowed the technicians to go under the vessel to remove the engine. To install the replacement, an opening was made in the double bottom and the 130-tonne engine lifted into the ship. The opening was then welded shut.
In addition, whilst in the dock the vessel’s two fin stabilisers were serviced and all 18 lifeboats inspected. The hull below the waterline was also cleaned and recoated with a state-of-the art paint system to reduce the vessel’s operating costs through better fuel efficiency.
Working with contractors
To enable Royal Caribbean International to carry out works to the interior, the yard provided the company and its contractors with the logistical infrastructure necessary to facilitate the refurbishment and daily work on board. As part of this, over 200 containers with new furniture and materials for the refurbishment were taken on board and about 600 tonnes of waste materials removed.
The entire project finished on time and on budget, with thorough preparation before the vessel arrived ensuring that all the parties involved worked smoothly alongside each other.
The yard previously had the pleasure of working on another Royal Caribbean cruise ship; the Enchantment of the Seas: This assignment involved the lengthening of the vessel from 279 to 301 metres in yards largest drydock. The then Kvaerner Masa-Yards (now Meyer Turku) of Finland fabricated the new 22-metre midsection in Turku. It was then shipped to Damen Verolme Rotterdam yard where the installation and associated works were successfully completed.