The Revived Harland & Wolff Shipyard Secures More Cruise Ship Work
The famed Belfast dockyard of Harland & Wolff has won a drydocking contract for two cruise ships belonging to two Carnival Corporation brands, which will call for repairs for 33 days in total.
The drydock work on P&O's Aurora and Cunard's Queen Victoria is part of the new turnaround strategy for Harland & Wolff, which was bought out of bankruptcy by the infrastructure investment firm InfraStrata in 2019.
Queen Victoria will be in the yard beginning in May. According to Harland & Wolff, she will be the largest cruise ship ever to have drydocked in a UK shipyard and the only Cunard ship to have ever drydocked in Belfast.
“We are delighted to be able to have these two ships at a UK shipyard with such a long heritage and reputation and we very much look forward to supporting the UK maritime industry and working closely with the Harland & Wolff team on this project," said Carnival UK VP David Varty in a statement.
Harland & Wolff’s strategy for revival is centered on diversification. The company is targeting five different markets and six service sectors to bring in more work for its facility and its workforce. Repair, maintenance and through-life services are key business lines that sustain the yard's capabilities, keeping it active between newbuild projects. Under the UK's National Shipbuilding Strategy, there will be about 150 domestic newbuild vessels to compete for the coming years, and Harland & Wolff wants to be ready. The yard also plans to bid for the fabrication work for new offshore wind farm projects, which are expected in abundance off England and Scotland.
“When acquiring the assets of Harland and Wolff (Belfast) in December 2019 and in a pre-pandemic period, the cruise industry was one of our key target markets," said Harland & Wolff group CEO John Wood. "We have now secured contracts in four out of our five markets; commercial, cruise & ferry, renewables and energy – we now look forward to completing the final milestone of securing a defence contract in the near future."