European Builders Make Inreads In Cruise And Feriy Sectors
German investment in cruise ship design and technology was demonstrated in the past year by 38,530- gt Aida, the Finnish-built, innovative addition to the Rostock-based DSR fleet. The completion in Wismar of the home-grown, 14,000-gt Columbus in June will add another dimension to the German portfolio.
Yet another milestone event for German maritime industry will be the scheduled delivery in May 1998 of 22,400-gt Deutschland to Peter Deilmann from Kiel shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW).
Registered with Deutsche Seetouristik, and marketed through in-house tour operator Arkona Reisen, the twinscrew Aida is tagged a "clubship," reflecting the popularity in Germany of club travel.
Offering a minimum passenger capacity of 1,186 and characterized by a relatively low crew to passenger ratio, the ship was conceived for a younger generation of cruise passengers, and is clearly slanted towards the European market rather than a North American clientele. Aida not only underscores Kvaerner Masa-Yards' propensity for more technically demanding or technologically advanced vessels in the capital-intensive newbuilding sectors, but also the Finnish company's flexibility in product-oriented design and custom construction. Given the marketing emphasis on young, but affluent customers, and parents with young children, Hamburg-based interiors specialist Partner Ship Design had the challenging task of engendering a casual shipboard atmosphere. The vessel represents a change in shipboard practice in the cruising field, with restaurants open virtually around the clock, and no preassigned dining room seating, both of which had implications for design and configuration. The public spaces are distinguished by their arrangement on the uppermost enclosed levels of the ship, adjoining the sun deck. The ship thereby breaks with the tradition of having main public areas, dining and entertainment facilities below at least two decks of cabins.
The landscape-type design approach adopted for the public rooms, and their less constrained interlinking, also makes for greater continuity and easier flows than is the case aboard many cruise ships with tightly compartmentalized public decks.
Employing a trusted dieselmechanical propulsion system for a speed of 21 knots, Aida is equipped with four Augsburg-built, MAN B&W 6L48/60 main engines developing a total 21,720 kW. Power is transmitted to two KaMeWa controllable pitch propellers through MAAG reduction gears. Maneuverability is enhanced by two KaMeWa 1,000- kW bowthrusters, and motion control is exerted through a set of Blohm + Voss fin stabilizers. Wartsila 32 Engines Featured On Columbus The recently unveiled Wartsila 32 engine, with a long pedigree in the popular 320-mm bore category of the market, will have an early, prestigious reference this summer in a sleek new German cruise ship. The 14,000- gt Columbus, ordered by Munich-based Conti Reederei for charter to Hapag-Lloyd Tours of Bremen, will provide only the second, seagoing newbuilding application for the latest class of Finnish-developed machinery.
The vessel's main power and propulsion plant will be based on four such engines in a six-cylinder, in-line configuration, for a total output of 10,560 kW. Anticipated serviceColumbus is the first cruise vessel ordered by containership-oriented Conti, one of the leading firms providing equity finance for shipping through German KG (limited partnership) schemes. Due to be delivered in June from MTW Schiffswerft in Wismar, the high-grade vessel has been designed for 420 passengers and is due to make its debut cruise from Germany to Norway's North Cape at the end of next month.
In its pre-German reunification guise as Mathias-Thesen Werft, the MTW yard had been a prolific builder of passengerships for the USSR and other Eastern Bloc states up to the mid-1960s. Columbus is the yard's first purpose- designed, pure cruise liner.
Columbus encapsulates a megayacht cruising culture, in terms of the interior styling and standard of facilities, and in the operational flexibility conferred by the hull design. Its moderate draft of 16.7 ft. (5.1 m) broadens the scope of itineraries by allowing navigation in estuaries and coastal waters. In addition, hull strengthening to Germanischer Lloyd Ice Class E2 requirements allows passage in polar regions with drifting ice. Some two-thirds of the passenger complement is provided for in outside cabins in the nine-deck design, and overall space per passenger is reportedly 25 percent greater than that of comparable vessels. Flanked by large rectangular windows overlooking the sea, spacious restaurant will cater to all passengers in one seating. Columbus will boost Hapag- Lloyd's cruise market presence beyond current cruise ships Europa and Bremen. The company's travel business was expanded last year through the acquisition of Hamburg firms Hanseatic Tours and Hanseatic Cruises.
New Fast Ferry Designs Although the term "fast ferry" is associated with lightweight twinhulled and high-speed monohull vessel types, two Greek companies have introduced advanced new designs of multi-purpose ferry applications which combine very fast service speeds with exceptionally high onboard facility standards.
Iraklion-based Minoan Lines and rival Athenian firm Superfast Ferries, associated with Attica Enterprises, have brought a new era of speed and luxury to the trans-Adriatic traffic between Greece and Italy using West European-built tonnage. Both companies commissioned stylish new vessels into the trade in 1995, and both have followed up with contracts for further ships, and to a faster speed in the case of Minoan Lines. The Cretan operator's 31,000-gt Ikarus is expected to make 29 knots during trials, and offer a service speed of 26.5 knots for 1,500 passengers and up to 800 cars, or a mix of freight and cars.
A third ship in the series has been booked from Fosen Mek Verksteder, in western Norway. To be named Pasiphae, the ship will be a sister to the 658-ft. (200-m) Ikarus, employing a 44,130-kW, four-engine powerplant compared with the 33,100 kW installed inknot, 558-ft. (170-m) Aretousa. Minoan Lines' enhancement of its network in terms of transit speed and route capacity on connections out of Patras to Brindisi, Ancona and Venice, is pertinent to the commercial freight business no less than to the tourist and passenger traffic. Offering improved access to European markets for Greek producers and buyers, service with the Ikarus-type provides scope for up to 160 trucks of 49 ft. (15 m) per sailing.
While Minoan's two $110 million newbuildings are due to be commissioned in January and June 1998, Superfast Ferries is to augment its trans-Adriatic fleet early23,700-gt vessels. Whereas the initial 27.9-knot pair came from Schichau-Seebeckwerft in Bremerhaven, the latest two are under construction at Kvaerner Masa-Yards in Finland.
Regulatory Requirements Drive Innovation Refinements in passenger ship design and outfitting often follow new regulatory requirements. One clear example of this theory is demonstrated 101,350-gt Carnival Destiny, which incorporates a system which meets the amended SOLAS stipulations concerning location of lifeboats, without impinging on passenger space. The new regulations dictate that all survival craft have to be stowedline for safety reasons, thereby ruling as unacceptable the earlier custom of carrying the boats as high as possible on the upper decks. Compliance with the new edict can mean that valuable cabin space on passenger decks is sacrificed to accommodate lifeboats.
Engineers from Utrecht-based Schat-Harding, part of Norwegianowned Umoe Schat-Harding, developed an under-deck stored power (UDSP) davit in a bid to provide a solution to suit both regulatory and commercial needs aboard Destiny.
In combination with speciallydesigned, 150-person lifeboats, the davit enables the total craft installation to be neatly fitted between decks, leaving the underneath promenade deck obstruction-free. Basically, the UDSP davit consists of a fixed support arm welded to the underside of the superstructure, and a traveling beam from which the lifeboat is suspended. As the system is operated hydraulically and has a telescopic arm, far less space is required to stow the lifeboats than is the case with conventional gravity davits, according to the Dutch producer. It is contended that savings in deck height can in some cases be sufficient to enable an extra passenger deck to be installed, depending on the vessel design. An important operational and safety attribute of the UDSP system is that it facilitates embarkation irrespective of vessel list and trim. Besides the requirement for open and uncluttered deck areas, and ease of operation of the boats in combination with the davits, the designers have taken into account a range of other owner demands, for instance, a minimization of the traditional practice of holding lifeboats against shipssides by means of wire ropes or belts to allow embarkation.
Owners also favored a covered or sheltered muster and direct embarkation area, and additionally called for davit steel structures to form an integral part of ship structures as far as possible. A demand for large openings in life craft in the interests of rapid embarkation was also acknowledged by Schat-Harding.
In addition to its important reference in Carnival Destiny, delivered by Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard, UDSP has reportedly been specified by Holland America Line, P&O Cruises and Celebrity Cruises for recent and current newbuildings.
Within 49 ft. (15 m) of the water- next year with an additional two the first of the Fosen series, the 24- speed is 18.5 knots.