First making headlines this past summer, when the Vancouver-based yard performed the emergency pod repair on Celebrity's Infinity, Victoria Shipyards
has booked an additional five cruise vessels that are scheduled for routine repairs and drydockings from May 9 through the middle of October. With the departure of Cascade General's Number Four drydock last year to Grand Bahama Island, Victoria has gained a foothold in the realm of West Coast ship repair for cruise vessels that frequent the Alaska and Vancouver areas.
According to Malcolm Barker
, Victoria's manager of Ship Repair, the yard has scheduled five cruise vessels for the remainder of 2002, beginning with Princess Cruises' Dawn Princess
, which will arrive on May 9 for 10 days. While at the yard, the RINA-classed vessel will undergo underwater rear hull blasting and painting, minor topside modifications, refurbishment of lifeboats and sea valve replacement — in addition to usual array of classification surveys. Barker ensured that the vessel would be up and running again by May 19, at which time it will depart to its homeport in Vancouver for its next Alaskan cruise itinerary.
The autumn will also be a buzz of activity at Victoria with four more vessels coming in for repair work. Celebrity has called on the yard for its expertise, for the drydocking and refit of Mercury in early September for approximately 10 days. Mercury will be followed by another Princess vessel, Sun Princess; Crystal Cruise Lines' Crystal Harmony at the end of September; and Holland America's Zaandam in mid-October. According to Barker, the yard also has had inquiries into 2003, planning to schedule anywhere from two- to-three more cruise vessels into the drydock.
"We've always gotten one or two cruise orders a year," Barker said. "But now with our track record of cruise repairs, coupled with our strategic location, makes us the only yard in the area that can accommodate these vessels."