Harding has been awarded contracts to deliver lifeboats, tender vessels and davits to a major cruise line.
Out of the cruise segment since 2013, SOLAS leader Harding used the timeout to rethink its relationship to cruise owners and shipyards, and redesign its core products to meet the latest demands of the industry. The first deliveries will go to an undisclosed cruise line.
“To become the chosen supplier for this prestigious project, we had to show that we could come up with something new, both to the owner and to the shipyard,” said Harding CEO Styrk Bekkenes
. “Getting contracts with world leaders is really a feather in our cap.”
Bekkenes emphasized the critical nature of relationships between suppliers, yards and owners: “Convincing the shipyard that we had products that would meet the cruise lines’ high standards was our first challenge. Winning the confidence of a benchmark shipyard confirmed that we were back on the right track in the cruise segment.”
The new Harding lifeboats are two stories unto themselves – a novel double-decker design that enables a passenger capacity of 440.
“Not only do the new boats carry more people, they are easier to load and unload, because each deck has two entrances,” states Cruise Sales Director Hallvard E. Skaare.
The new design also shrinks the waterline, saving valuable space shipboard, while offering a roomier interior on board the lifeboat.
Even the davits used to lower and retrieve lifeboats and tenders have undergone a transformation.
“The davits Harding supplies to the offshore industry are completely enclosed. This is for safety and maintenance purposes offshore, but an enclosed davit, designed for cruise, meets an aesthetic need as well,” Skaare said.
In both scope and value, the new cruise contract represents the biggest to date for Harding Safety AS.
“We took the chance, and it paid off. This new contract gives us a renewed and important foothold in the cruise industry, at a time when the offshore market is suffering due to low oil prices
,” says Bjørn Sturle Hillestad, Global Sales and Marketing Director in Harding Safety.
Harding will deliver a total of 12 x 440 person lifeboats, 24 x 230 person Lifeboat/Tender, 36 x PD55 DM davits and six x rescue boat stations. The contract also includes options for further deliveries.