The new Coral Geographer is closer to delivery from VARD in Vietnam, according to Project Manager Frank Krone.
The 120-guest ship is a sister to the 2019-built Coral Adventurer and is now poised to make her debut in Cairns, Australia, on March 1.
“COVID did still take us by surprise,” said Krone. “Apart from the fact that we could not have anyone from our office and ships visiting the shipyard due to travel restrictions, there were also concerns about getting all the components delivered on time. Modern shipbuilding requires integrating many sub-systems – engines from the US, navigation systems and electricals from Norway, windows and doors from Germany, flooring from Italy, bathroom modules from Korea, etc. Many of these locations were hard hit by COVID, disrupting the supply chain. If a single component was delayed, so would the entire ship!”
“The added complication was that for the sea trials of the ship, our crew and all the manufacturers’ experts would have to complete two weeks of quarantine or arrival, and on return back to Australia,” he continued.
“We improvised, Coral Expeditions style. I remained based permanently at the shipyard. We resorted to video inspections and approvals from the office in lieu of site visits. I worked closely with the shipyard and monitored supplier deliveries to ensure any delays were manageable. And of course, I applied all I had learnt from building Coral Adventurer and my decade with the company. Our crew patiently put up with the quarantine and testing requirements ahead of sea trials.”