Emilio La Scala, president and managing director, MSC Cruise Management UK, is preparing for a busy 2022 with approximately 150 drydock days for the company’s fleet, up from roughly 100 in 2021.
2021 saw work done on the MSC Orchestra, Poesia, Lirica, Fantasia and Divina, with eight ships set to drydock this year at the Palumbo Malta Shipyard where MSC now has a 50 percent ownership stake in the strategically located facility.
“We have a 10-year future outlook and drydock frequency set according to classification society rules and regulations,” La Scala said. “Our internal policy ensures an average of two stops per ship every five years, although this may be adjusted according to deployment.
“We book drydock availability in five-year time frames because the vast majority of work that needs to be conducted cannot be done when the vessel is in operation, and the drydock is essential to maintain the highest of standards. Of course, regular routine maintenance or refurbishment activities are carried out as and when required during any of our vessels’ given itineraries.”
Two new ships delivered in 2021, the MSC Virtuosa and Seashore, already have their drydock plans in place for the next five years, La Scala said.
Is there a trend toward more remote surveys and inspections? To a degree.
“Even with the pandemic ashore, most surveys and inspections continue to be carried out on-site, although there is a degree of remote working,” La Scala explained. “An essential part of our industry-leading health and safety protocol that MSC Cruises introduced in summer 2020 was to ensure the safest work environment to anyone joining our ships as either a technician or a surveyor.
“Their health and safety was as important, of course, as that of any of our guests, crew and communities where our ships call.”