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Boskalis Heavy Lift Ship Serves as Floating Drydock for Cruise Ship

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Representation of the loading operation (Boskalis)

By The Maritime Executive 2019-07-04 14:30:11

Boskalis has been awarded an unusual contract: it has been hired to deploy a giant heavy lift ship as a floating drydock for a 4,000-passenger cruise ship. 

After a casualty at Grand Bahama Shipyard in April, the Caribbean region was left without a large floating drydock for repairing full-size cruise ships. Carnival Vista is experiencing technical difficulties with her azipods - a problem significant enough to require cancellation of sailings and a (slight) downward revision of Carnival Corporation's annual earnings forecast. Repairs require removing Vista from the water, which would necessitate a transit to a different yard overseas - unless a drydock could come to her.

Representation of the Vanguard with the Vista on board (Boskalis)

Boskalis operates the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy lift vessel, the BOKA Vanguard. The Vanguard will transit to the Vista's location off the coast of Freeport, then load her on board and deballast to bring her out of the water. This loading and lifting operation is planned to take place between July 12 and 14. The BOKA Vanguard will transport the Vista to a nearby shipyard, where the repairs will take place while the cruise ship is stowed on the BOKA Vanguard's deck. Upon completion of the repairs, Carnival Vista will be offloaded. The operation will see Vista out of service for 17 days and three sailings, and she is expected to resume her normal schedule later in the month.

On Tuesday, on her last voyage before leaving service for repairs, Carnival Vista briefly lost electrical service from amidships forward. She did not lose power to the bridge, but lighting, elevators and HVAC systems shut down briefly for the affected area. (No passengers were in the elevators during the outage.) "I want to thank all the guests here who kept calm as the engineers restored the lights that had gone off in parts of the ship, they were all brilliant," brand ambassador John Heald said in a Facebook post. "And the crew, well they were as they always are, dedicated, professional and kept the fun going."

As of July 3, the BOKA Vanguard was transiting past Bermuda, bound for Freeport, with an expected arrival date of July 5.