Five major revitalizations are scheduled at Navantia in 2020, including Carnival’s conversion of the Victory into the Radiance and Royal Caribbean’s amplification of the Allure of the Seas, according to the 2020 Drydocking and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.
“These projects will involve a wide range of scopes, ranging from routine regulatory-driven dockings to major refurbishments,” said Ramon de Lara, commercial manager at Navantia in Cadiz. “This translates to considerable mechanical, propulsion and hull work in addition to supporting hotel refurbishment activity.”
The cruise refurbishment market is good, so good, in fact, that the yard is also now using its Ferrol-Fene Shipyard in Northern Spain for cruise projects, where one is scheduled this year. That facility has four large drydocks.
2019 highlights in Cadiz included the transformation of the Carnival Triumph into the Sunrise, a lengthy refurbishment for The World, a large-scale project for Windstar, and an end-of-year 50-day drydocking on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas. Some projects saw upwards of 2,000 workers between the yard’s staff and subcontractors.
“The scope was enormous,” said de Lara of the $165 million Oasis project.
“Mechanical work included significant azipod items, servicing of thrusters, stabilizer work and an application of a new hull coating system. From the hotel side, reconfigurations were made to accommodate the addition of more cabins, several new restaurant venues, a new dedicated outdoor space, a relocated library and more.
“In addition, an entirely new pool deck was created with a water park featuring various waterslides.”
The yard’s Cadiz facility has two large drydocks and one floating drydock, with 10 gantry cranes available, de Lara said.
“We typically assign a project manager and team to a project six to 12 months in advance. Obviously, a larger scope requires more advanced planning, and we act accordingly to accommodate. With some projects, we are meeting with the customer’s team as much as a year or more in advance to begin jointly analyzing and developing the work.”
Having become accustomed to massive drydock projects, Navantia has honed its skill set.
“We have successfully installed ducktails on a number of vessels,” de Lara explained. “Many of these were well in excess of 300 tons. Scrubber installations and stack modifications are fairly routine now. We have also prefabricated and installed several accommodations blocks with additional cabins.
“However, perhaps the most challenging project was retrofitting a stern thruster for a recently delivered ship within an absolute minimum allotted time, which required tremendous planning and coordination between a team consisting of the owners, the newbuild yard, contractors and Navantia.”
What drives a successful drydock operation?
“Planning, preparation and dedication,” de Lara answered, noting they could handle four to five cruise projects simultaneously.
“Oftentimes this involves a combination of assessing the necessary project scope with both the maximum out-of-service days and the planned number of days in the drydock and then reverse engineering the schedule. It is sometimes necessary to get creative and start executing work in advance of the yard and finish internal outfitting work as the vessel is sailing post drydock.”