ALMACO has seen a growing demand for cabin refurbishments, the 2023 Drydock and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.
Jean-Pierre Lepage, president of the service division at ALMACO, said: “We see a growing demand for cabin refurbishments. By contrast, big modernization projects with new outfitted additional blocks on cruise ships have been put on hold in 2022 and the demand for these projects will probably remain low in 2023 as well.”
The company completed two major drydock projects recently including the transformation of standard cabins into ADA cabins aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Conquest.
“We have a feeling that this trend will continue in 2023 and 2024. In the long term, we see a growing trend in accessibility (ADA) and sustainability,” said Lepage.
Lepage said that the team is preparing for another big refurbishment project.
“We are just about to initialize a huge cabin refurbishment project with a scope of 255 passenger cabins and 64 suites,” Lepage said when interviewed in November.
The drydock started in Marseille in mid-November and was expected to take a couple of weeks.
They also have a project for the Marella Voyager under preparation.
“That project consists of more than 2,300 square meters of public space work including a new food hall, specialty restaurants, counters and buffets, as well as refurbishment of several bars.”
Lepage said that a typical project timeline is six months. While they have completed projects faster, Lepage noted that they try to avoid that as it puts stress on the project teams and vendors.
“Planning and preparing for the project well are crucial for a successful modernization or refurbishment, and therefore we want to make sure we reserve enough time for the preparation phase. Especially now when the supply chains are much more challenging and lead times longer than before COVID, as we saw this year. The drydock itself is usually only a few weeks long.”
Lepage said that preparation and communication are essential for a successful project.
“We always start a new project with a thorough ship inspection. After that, we bring in our contractors at an early stage to ensure that they have full understanding of the scope and good interaction and collaboration with the rest of the stakeholders.
“Frequent, regular and clear communication with the ship owner’s project team is also crucial during both the preparation and drydock phases.”