Busy year for Caribbean’s largest shipyard

Written by Nick Blenkey
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DECEMBER 18, 2016 — The largest shipyard in the Caribbean, Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited, (GBSL) carried out work on 20 cruise ships during 2016 and looks set for an even busier 2017 with 23 confirmed cruise vessels scheduled for refit, refurbishment or revitalization.

The scope of works carried out this year included significant propulsion and technical systems overhauls, hull treatment, accommodations and public spaces upgrades and the addition of onboard attraction facilities. .

The first cruise ship to enter dry dock at GBSL in 2016 was Holland America Line’s Maasdam. She was followed by two more HAL vessels, Veendam in March and Prinsendam in May. Works on these vessels included scrubber and ADG (additional diesel generator) installations, thruster overhauls, steel works and extensive hull treatment.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line drydocked four vessels at the shipyard 2016 for significant overhauls and upgrades. The first to enter GBSL for major works was Liberty of the Seas in late January for modifications that saw cabins added to its deck 12 structure and the installation of a state of the art waterpark. On the technical side, azipods were overhauled, major tank conversions performed, general repairs undertaken and a scrubber system installed. This was followed by an April visit of by Jewel of the Seas and a post Hurricane Matthew October drydocking for Adventure of the Seas. All three vessels received the same scope of work.

Azamara Journey, also operated by Royal Caribbean, entered dry-dock mid-January for a 14-day repair period that included an extensive interior refit facilitated by GBSL.

Celebrity Cruise Lines’ Celebrity Summit visit to the yard’s Dry Dock 3 in March included major hull and topside treatment as well as the complete fabrication and refit of crew cabins along with stabilizer overhaul.

Carnival Cruise Line drydocked seven vessels at GBSL in 2016. The first to arrive, in February, was Carnival Fantasy, followed by ‘Carnival Magic. March saw the arrival of Carnival Splendor, followed by Carnival Triumph. Carnival Valor was drydocked in April followed by a May drydocking of ‘Carnival Sunshine, while the year concluded with the December drydocking of Carnival Liberty. Significant work was planned and executed for each vessel, highlights including ADG installation on the Magic, Splendor, and Valor, with various accommodations and public space upgrades performed on all vessels.

P&O’s Adonia received a complete ship rebranding which required complete hull and topside UHP blasting, coating and then painting to convert to the new Fathom brand. This vessel was the first to visit Cuba in 2016.

Princess Cruise Line’s Coral Princess received a new scrubber, steel work performed by the GBSL team of multi-national, certified welders upgraded the hull to the new Panama Canal standards. Life boats received maintenance. Significant hull and topside treatment to include UHP blasting followed by coatings and paint were also completed. Other notable cruise vessels from respected lines included:

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Dawn visited Dock 2 for an extensive 27-day work period to include complete hull and topside treatment, stabilizers overhaul and Azipod repairs.

In September, GBSL welcomed its first visitor fro the Mediterranean Shipping Co. cruise fleet, the MSC Divina, in for rgeneral work.

“To meet the needs of our customers, we are dedicated to continual upgrades to our yard, and our services,” says GBSL’s VP Sales and Marketing, Graham Couser. “In 2016 significant investments included facility upgrades and purchasing of new machinery and tooling adding to our workshops’ capabilities. We have further expanded our facility with capital improvements to the North Beach Wharf. Plans are afoot in 2017 for additional developments and expansions to our South Beach and East Beach areas.”

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