American Cruise Ship Takes Shape

Thursday, October 14, 1999
The much-watched progress of two new cruise vessels under construction for AmericanClassic Voyages at Ingalls Shipbuilding are quickly taking shape, at least in the area of equipment selection. The ships are destined for Hawaii inter-island service, and will be the largest U.S. flag cruise ships ever built, and the first large passenger vessels built in the U.S. in more than 40 years. The project has generated an understandable amount of interest in the world shipbuilding community, and competition to secure an order on the ship has been fierce. Last month it was divulged that the Mermaid podded propulsion system was selected to propel the first two vessels, with an option for a third. Each ship will be equipped with two Mermaid propulsors, each with a rated power of 12.5 MW. The Mermaid system was jointly developed by Kamewa and ALSTOM, with Kamewa responsible for hydrodynamics and ALSTOM for the electric drive. The $28.5 million order also includes power generation and high voltage distribution from ALSTOM Drives & Controls. The first ship will be delivered to the shipowner in the beginning of the year 2003. For power, Litton has chosen four Wärtsilä 8L46C medium-speed diesel engines (combined output of 33,600 kW at 514 rpm) to drive the ships. “The two main reasons for choosing the Wärtsilä 46 engines for Project America was their proven reliability and their environmental values,” said Jon Rusten, president of Ocean Development Co., who is responsible for the newbuildings for the owner. The engines will be built at the company’s Turku works in Finland, and are being supplied in a package contract, including a wide range of ancillary equipment, including resilient mountings, elastic shaft couplings and exhaust silencers, together with fuel, lubricating oil, starting air and central cooling.

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