‘Maximize Owner’s Investment’ Key to Refit Management

The Paul Gauguin in drydock in Singapore

"Drydocking is one of the most important events in a cruise ship’s lifecycle. It has a strong influence on the ship’s performance and efficiency,” said Paal Lande Berg, fleet manager cruise, Wilhelmsen Ship Management, in the 2019 Drydocking and Refurbishment Report by Cruise Industry News.

“Hence it is very important that the management of the drydocking event is done correctly to maximize  the owner’s investment.”

Berg said Wilhelmsen can manage a refit project from planning to completion.

“We aim to produce a detailed specification that specifies jobs that should be conducted by the shipyard step by step. The more detailed the specification, the better it is,” he said. “During execution of the docking plan, we conduct site supervision to ensure defined jobs are executed within expectations, time, budget, safety and compliance to class and flag requirements.”

Planning ahead to a large drydocking in Singapore this year, Berg also pointed to a recently completed drydock that he managed in Singapore last summer on a 20-year-old luxury vessel.

Paal Lande Berg, fleet manager cruise, Wilhelmsen Ship Management

“We did a complete upgrade of the propulsion system, refit of public areas, changed main engine foundations and a range of other capital and labor-intensive activities,” he recalled.

“We begin planning as soon as we finish the last one. For a new cruise vessel, drydock planning starts upon vessel launch.”

Down the road, the company has its eye to China as becoming a more attractive location to drydock cruise ships.

“We have done a few drydocks for our cargo ships in Chinese yards with good results,” Berg said.

What factors go into selecting a drydock and key set of subcontractors?

“We believe a lot is based on track record and relationships. Cost factor is important, but time and quality has a higher precedence as the consequence of time overrun has a material impact.”


Go inside the world of cruise ship drydocking and refurbishment with the 2019 Cruise Industry News Drydocking and Refurbishment Reportpresenting a 100-page overview of the $3 billion annual cruise ship drydock and refit market including a full 2019, 2020, 2021 estimated drydocking scheduled based on available data and research.

The report offers interviews with key drydocking executives from cruise lines, suppliers and shipyards, as well as case studies, trend reports and much more. 

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