The vessels were at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSV) for a wide-ranging program of work, scheduled and unscheduled. Damen carried out its scope within a tight timeframe so that both ships were ready for planned onward voyages.
The Astor arrived on October 17. While in port she underwent a DNV GL Class Survey as Damen carried out diverse tasks. The scheduled maintenance included high-pressure washing and painting of the underwater part of the vessel, overhaul of overboard valves, hull anode renewal, maintenance and recertification of lifeboats, gangway repairs and certification and renewal of ducting and ventilators from engine room air-supply.
Peter Sterkenburg, Head of Sales & Marketing at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, said of the project: “The work on the Astor was not without its challenges – the sheer diversity of the tasks we performed ensured that! The logistics were perhaps the greatest consideration – we had to manage this extensive scope, alongside a class survey, whilst 140 of the vessel’s crew remained on board throughout. I’m pleased to say we did everything according to plan and all work was completed in time for Astor to sail on November 4.”
Only days later, on November 11, the Marco Polo arrived in Vlissingen. The vessel, though similarly sized to Astor, accommodates up to 800 passengers. The Marco Polo was scheduled for a class survey and similar scope of maintenance to Astor. However, a recent grounding in Norway added an extra dimension to the project.
Mr Sterkenburg added: “The grounding caused some minor steel damage to the flat bottom of the vessel, so we’ve had to factor that into the planning on top of the scheduled work and class survey. Naturally, this has made the work more challenging, but we are used to this kind of project and to reacting quickly when something changes. Everything went according to plan.”