Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven has reported a busy spring with four cruise ships.
The AIDAvita led the way, drydocking at the end of March for the first time in the shipyard’s big Kaiserdock II for 10 days before the start of a new season.
Regular routine technical classification and maintenance work was carried out by Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven personnel on the 203-meter long cruise ship, built in Wismar in 2002. There were also numerous jobs for completion in the vessel’s public areas, many of which were renovated by AIDA Cruises itself. Lloyd Werft’s personnel were on hand here to provide technical support to the owner.
During her time in drydock at the yard, the jobs on the ship included new coating - a task which required about 9,000 liters of paint. The ship’s bow thrusters and both of her propeller drives were inspected as were her stabilizers. The ship’s davits were inspected and the lifeboats underwent servicing at the Fassmer Shipyard in Berne at the same time.
Almost simultaneously, the 135.1-meter long Minerva underwent general maintenance and class work in Floating Dock III.
Built at the Mariotti Shipyard in Genoa in 1996, she is not unknown at Lloyd Werft: five years ago the yard installed an additional deck with a lounge on the ship, built new suites and added balconies to many of her cabins. To reduce fuel consumption the yard also installed a Promas plant from Rolls Royce to optimize below surface water flow.
Another familiar face at the yard in April was the expedition cruise ship National Geographic Explorer, which was paying her fifth docking visit to Bremerhaven. The 112-meter long ship, belonging to Lindblad Expeditions, arrived after a voyage of several weeks from the Antarctic for routine maintenance and class work. It was carried out by Lloyd Werft personnel in the Floating Dock VI of neighboring German Dry Docks (GDD) in the Kaiserhafen 1.
That ice-strengthened ship was built in 1982 in Norway as the Midnatsol for Hurtigruten for service on the route between Bergen and Northern Norway. After a first big conversion 29 years ago in Bremerhaven the ship was converted again in 2007 in Gothenburg into a cruise ship, getting, among other things, 69 outside cabins and 12 balcony cabins for a total 148 passengers. These days the Bahamas-flag ship operates in some of the most remote regions of the world.
Plantours Kreuzfahrten of Bremen also operates its cruise ship away from the usual routes plied by the big companies. Upon completion of a western Europe cruise, Plantours’ 144-meter long Hamburg headed for Bremerhaven to discharge about 350 guests at the Columbus Cruise Center on April 26. She then headed straight into dock for maintenance and class work. Because the docks were booked, this job was also carried out in Floating Dock 5 at German Dry Docks - but by specialists from Lloyd Werft.
The ship was built in Wismar in 1997 as the C. Columbus and served for many years with Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten.
The shipyard, which is owned by the Malaysian Genting Group since 2015, has specialized in the building and conversion of yachts and special prototype vessels as well as in the conversion of cruise ships.
Classical repair business for cargo ships is no longer carried out but the yard’s docks are regularly utilized by neighboring German Dry Docks for work on other ship types.
"With our trim and powerful team we are well placed to tackle upcoming projects," said a spokesperson for the Lloyd Werft management.
One such project has been another docking of Germany’s biggest research ship Polarstern operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research. The ship’s latest overhaul at the yard, which lasted until May 24, marked her 66th drydocking for work by Lloyd Werft’s experienced team since the research ship was built in 1982.
Preparations continue meanwhile at Lloyd Werft for upcoming late summer projects. As well as a second big yard stay for Polarstern in the fall, the 1995-built Crystal Symphony is expected for conversion at Lloyd Werft between mid September and October 20. The initial preparations for the conversion work will begin on September 19 when the ship begins her journey to Bremerhaven after ending a cruise in Lisbon.
During the four week conversion period the ship will not only get two new restaurants. Also created on board will be the technical pre-requisites for the introduction of free WLAN. In addition some of the cabins in the ship’s luxury penthouse suites will be converted, such that the passenger capacity will be reduced to 848.
Elsewhere, intensive preparations are underway at the yard for a contract to build a new yacht, work on which will start at the beginning of 2018 in Floating Dock III. This newbuilding, for delivery in 2020 to an unidentified customer, will ensure a good workload.
Last but not least, Lloyd Werft’s Design Center also reports a good work load. The center’s approximately 70 employees are occupied not just with design work in conjunction with the new yacht contract, they have also won orders for the production of wide-ranging designs for other yacht newbuilds and specialized ships.