Smyril Line Pumps Nearly $16m into Ferry Retrofit
In collaboration with naval architects Hauschildt Marine and shipyard Fayard in Denmark, Smyril Line’s ro-pax ship Norröna has been retrofitted with more luxurious facilities for its regular service between the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Denmark.
The RoPax, originally built in 2003 in Germany, at Flendern Werft in Lübeck, had a nearly $16m refit which included 50 new luxury cabins being added. The ferry originally cost $115 million to build.
Room for the luxury cabins was found by moving the crew’s cabins to a different location on the ferry and getting rid of the old shared cabins.
Hauschildt Marine facilitated the development of ideas and were responsible for the design process, which was based on an 3D model of the ship.
“There were several different parameters that could have developed into obstacles, including whether the ship could carry more weight, but it turned out to be an extremely interesting retrofit,” says Jóhan av Reyni, maritime director at Smyril Line. Making the project all the more challenging: Smyril was bidding the project in March 2020, just as COVID-19 was starting to spread rapidly, globally. “It seemed hopeless at first, but we discussed it and chose to move forward because the Covid crisis is going to pass at some point,” said av Reyni.
- A Major Makeover of the Top Deck
Decks 5 and 6 of the ferry had previously been upgraded, so it was now time to do the upper deck, which was entirely re-dimensioned, was given a new outdoors skybar and a new lounge area with a large panoramic view. The Smyril Line martime director says the retrofit is also a consequence of consumer behavior changing over time. Passengers used to buy tickets for berths in shared four-person cabins, but these sales have more or less disappeared. In contrast, Norröna’s 12 luxury cabins are often sold out.
“We have gradually got more comfortable cabins, and there is no doubt that the new 50 cabins will be highly sought-after,” said av Reyni. On 1 March, the retrofitted Norröna ship will set sail for Hirtshals, where the ship will resume its North Atlantic route from 6 March.
Smyril Line was founded in the Faroe Islands in 1982. Today it is an international company with offices in Iceland, Germany and Denmark. In addition to Norröna, Smyril Line also owns the cargo company Smyril Line Cargo, which owns the cargo ships Eystnes, Hvítanes, Mykines and Akranes.