MARCH 15, 2013 — Boston, MA, headquartered Vantage Deluxe World Travel has christened the newest addition to its growing European river cruising fleet, the ms River Splendor, in Antwerp as the newest addition to its growing European river cruising fleet. Miss Belgium Noemie Happart led the official naming ceremony as the ship's godmother.
Built at Shipyard DeHoop, Lobith, Netherlands, River Splendor has a passenger capacity of 176 and crew of 45.
Measuring 442 feet/135 meters, the maximum length allowed by European Union regulations, the ms River Splendor boasts several innovative features that are consistent with Vantage's new fleet including a fuel efficient propulsion system that allows for reduced emissions and earns the vessel a "green ship" designation, energy-saving LED lighting and canvas ceilings throughout the ship, a hydraulic sliding roof allowing for indoor/outdoor dining, and the largest full-service kitchen of any European river cruising company.
Accommodations include eight single staterooms, to meet the popular demand of single travelers. Other options include a 330 square foot owners' suite, twelve 250 square foot deluxe suites, and various other stateroom offerings, 78 percent with French balconies.
All accommodations have hotel style beds, individual climate control, flat-screen TVs equipped with free Video on Demand, U.S. channels, and interactive trip planning and GPS tracking; free WiFi; safety deposit boxes; and U.S. outlets and bathroom amenities.
"We are incredibly excited to launch the second ship of our new fleet, the ms River Splendor alongside our most valued partners and a select group of best customers," said Kevin Wallace , COO of Vantage Deluxe World Travel. "We are expecting significant growth in the number of passengers we host on our European river cruising vessels in 2013 and 2014 including new departures to the Seine, Rhone, Saone in France and the Elbe in Germany, and we are looking forward to offering our customers the best cruising experience available anywhere with this exceptional ship."
The new vessel is part of a $120 million fleet investment program, which will immediately double Vantage's river cruising fleet. The ms River Splendor joins the ms River Discovery II, launched in 2012 which will sail on the Rhone and Saone in April 2013, the ms River Venture coming online in late March 2013 and the soon to be renovated ms River Navigator , which will sail again in September 2013 on the Rhine, Main and Danube. In addition to enhanced amenities, the new fleet will offer passengers new itineraries along the Elbe, Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers, a new Grand River voyage in France, and revamped itineraries in Portugal and Russia.
MAY 3, 2013 — Goltens has celebrated the opening of its new facility in Dubai Maritime City with a formal Grand Opening.
"We are delighted at the Grand Opening of the modern state-of-the-art Goltens faciity," said Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World. "Goltens is spearheading the surge of maritime business within DMC. We are partners in providing added value services to the small-to-mid-size vessel segment and are supporting the industry thrust towards high-quality service delivery in the minimum time frame and at in a cost effective manner. We are committed to strengthening our business relationship in the future and will strive to work on joint projects that are beneficial to the industry at large,"
"We are honored to have the presence HE the Norwegian Ambassador to the UAE Ms Åse Bjerke for the Grand Opening of our new facility in Dubai," said Goltens Worldwide Services President Paul Friedberg. "Goltens Worldwide group of companies, currently located at 21 locations around the world, offer specialist diesel and in situ repair and maintenance services for the marine, offshore and stationary power markets around the world. Our new purpose built 100.000 sq. ft. specialist diesel and mechanical repair and docking facility in DMC, offers the latest technology and processes to serve the marine, offshore and industrial market segments in the UAE and the Middle East region. We are delighted with our new facility in Dubai Maritime City which will be a valuable contributor towards building up the marine and offshore capablilities in DMC, Dubai and the region in general."
The 2.27 million sq.m Dubai Maritime City project is built on a man-made peninsula strategically located between Port Rashid and Drydocks World Dubai and offers real estate and shipyard facilities. The real estate facilities in the Industrial District comprise of ship repair plots, yacht manufacturing workshops, warehouses, industrial workshops, retail shops, showrooms and cafeterias. The marine operational facilities consists of two ship lifts-one 6000 tonnes lifting capacity and the other of 3000 tonnes with a total of 42 berths equipped with permanent facilities. The Marine District of DMC primarily consists of real estate plots for development of residential and recreational facilities including marinas.
Aluminium Marine, Queensland, Australia, recently launched and delivered the 24m x 8.5m catamaran ferry Freedom Sovereign to Freedom Fast Cats, Queensland, Australia.
Freedom Fast Cats has also operated the 1980-built Freedom Flyer and 2010-built Freedom Monarch, both designed by Australia’s Incat Crowther.
Freedom Sovereign carries 195 passengers over two decks, with seating for 121 in the main cabin, arranged in booths with tables. There is a large bar and kiosk at the aft end of the cabin. Two toilets are located aft on the main deck, one of which is wheelchair accessible. The upper deck consists of a lounge space, which seats 20 passengers. Two additional toilets are provided on this deck, and there are 54 exterior seats.
Passengers can board via aft side gates and midship boarding doors on the main deck. Additionally, there is also an hydraulically operated telescopic ramp mounted on the foredeck. This allows Freedom Fast Cats to operate the catamaran to beaches without infrastructure.
Propulsion power is supplied by two 618 kW Yanmar 6ATM-GTE engines that drive two propellers. Freedom Sovereign has a loaded speed of 24 knots and a top speed over 27 knots.
March 26, 2012
OCTOBER 18, 2012 — U.K.-based Turbine Transfers has awarded Austal a new contract worth about GBP 10.5 million (about $17 million) for the design and construction of three offshore wind farm support vessels.
The 27 m catamarans will be used by UK-based Turbine Transfers to support wind turbine installation and maintenance activities in European waters. Austal will build them at its shipyard in the Philippines over a period of approximately nine months, commencing in March 2013.
The new Wind Express 27 catamarans will be able to transport 12 personnel and 10 tonnes of equipment/stores to and from turbines. This includes containerised items on forward and/or aft decks.
Powered by four Caterpillar C18 diesels and propelled and steered by Rolls Royce Kamewa waterjets, they will be able to operate at in excess of 27 knots. An Austal integrated monitoring, alarm and control system with touch screen interface will be configured to make all vessel functions are available from a central location on the bridge.
Austal's Z-bow hullform coupled with high tunnel clearance allows the Wind Express 27 to maintain higher speeds in waves than competing catamarans, reducing both exposure to seasickness and service times per turbine. A ride control system consisting of forward T-foils and transom interceptors is fitted to further reduce unwanted motion and provide dynamic trim control.
The vessels will normally operate with a crew of two, however the design includes four single berth cabins which makes it possible to operate around-the-clock with two crews of two. The cabins are in the superstructure, which is resiliently mounted to reduce noise and vibration transmitted from the hull.
The catamarans are being designed and built to Det norske Veritas +1A1 HSLC Windfarm Service 1 R1 classification and United Kingdom MGN 280 Area Category 1 requirements.
Commenting on the new contract Austal's Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, said: "Austal decided to pursue the growing market for wind farm boats in mid-2010. Having spent the first year working hard to better understand the market's expectations we signed our first contract in July last year.
"During that initial 12 month marketing period we did a lot of research and design development and also confirmed that Austal needed to regionalize its manufacturing base in order to be successful. The company acquired a shipyard in the Philippines last November for that very reason.
"Now, as our contracts demonstrate, Austal has the vessel designs customers want and the right production cost base to successfully leverage that intellectual property. Our strategy has been so successful that the Philippines shipyard now employs over 220 staff, continues to grow and is currently fully utilized into the first quarter of next financial year."
Mr Bellamy said that Austal can still take on further projects and provide prospective clients with high quality vessels in short time frames.
"The capacity and efficiency of our Philippines shipyard means we are still able to meet market demand for vessels delivered in the first half of 2014. We continue to aggressively pursue further projects for wind farm boats, ferries and other commercial vessels," he said.
This is Austal's third new project for Turbine Transfers in a little over 15 months. Three 21 m catamarans were ordered in July 2011 and delivered to Europe earlier this year. Construction of a 27 m TRI SWATH ordered in January 2012 is nearing completion at the Philippines shipyard.
Managing Director of Turbine Transfers, Captain Mark Meade said his company was using Austal technology to support the next phase of wind farm development which would see a much larger number of turbines installed farther offshore and in other areas with rougher sea conditions.
"Our experience with Austal to date, including bringing our first three Wind Express catamarans into service, has demonstrated the benefits of Austal's vast experience and knowledge in all aspects of commercial vessel design, manufacture and support," Captain Meade said.
"I am pleased to once again work with Austal to develop a further three high-quality wind farm service vessels which will join our existing fleet which will soon have 30 boats. Our operational knowledge and Austal's skills will once again combine to deliver better boats to the industry."
NOVEMBER 12, 2012 — Damen Shipyards Group and Wilson Sons (Brazil) have signed a contract for twelve Damen ASD (Azimuth Stern Drive) tugs. Ten are of Damen's 2411 type, while two will be of the new 3212-type.
Damen's new type 3212 (left) features "double sausage" fendering
The vessels will be built at the Wilson Sons shipyard in Guarujá, São Paulo and will go into service for Wilson Sons subsidiary Saveiros Camuyrano Serviços Maritimos.
Wilson Sons has one of the biggest tug fleets in Latin America, serving all the Brazilian waters both in harbors, inshore and out at sea. Its fleet consists of approximately 75 tugs of which at least 50 are ASD vessels, most of which are Damen standard designs.
The two companies have achieved a high level of cooperation: Wilson Sons builds locally, using drawing, engineering and materials packages provided by Damen and achieving the same high standards which have made Damen Shipyards a world leader in all round harbor tugs.
Five of the ten ASD 2411 tugs covered in the latest contract will have a 55 t bollard pull and five will have a 70 t BP. Wilson Sons already has 19 ASD 2411s in its fleet, used mainly in harbor operations and in restricted, inshore conditions. These latest 2411s, will comply with the latest IMO and MLC 2006 crew accommodation and comfort regulations.
Towage & salvage
The two Damen ASD 3212s will be the first in the Wilson fleet. Introduced at the ITS (International Tug & Salvage Convention and Exhibition) in Barcelona in June 2012, the ASD 312 is specially designed for working in challenging conditions and to have a wider range than regular tugs: ideal for salvage in exposed locations and for operations related to Brazil's offshore oil industry.
The ASD 3212 has a powerful 80 t Bollard Pull and many new features, such as extra-thick "double sausage" fendering for improved energy absorption and a high bow to keep the foredeck dry. Damen has co-operated with the Dutch MARIN institute and the Delft University of Technology to further improve hull form, bilge keels and skeg shape, resulting in a vessel that can do its duty in three meter wave heights. Maneuverability and crew comfort have also been addressed and the ASD 3212 complies with all major classification societies' requirements and the latest international environmental regulations.
Damen Shipyards will send the first construction packages for these tugs to Brazil in January 2013. Wilson Sons expects to have completed all twelve of them by the end of 2015.
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