Accommodation Vessels Set to Play Key Drydock Role

Drydock projects can have 1,000s of workers

“Chartering one of our floating hotel vessels provides so many benefits,” said Kendra L. Holmes, director of business development and commercial operations at Miray International.

“Cruise lines are able to shorten their refurbishment times by having everyone off their vessel and completing all the projects at one time," said said, in the 2021 Drydock Report by Cruise Industry News.

"There is no need to move vendors from room to room or provide hot water, air-conditioning, or food services. When no one is living onboard, all of these services can be taken down and worked on at one time.”

Miray’s 2020 was squashed by coronavirus, as a large project in Cadiz didn’t happen, and two other big refurbishments that called for accommodation vessels were shelved, for now.

Bringing in an accommodation vessel means less transport time for workers, Holmes said, noting that they provide food, entertainment, housekeeping, laundry and other services.

“When our vessel provides safe, clean lodging, quality meals and entertainment on-site in the shipyard, the cruise lines do not need to book numerous off-site hotel rooms, nor do they need to arrange for bus transportation to get staff and vendors from the hotel to the yard. This also eliminates the need to provide daily food allowances and reimbursements for staff and vendors,” Holmes pointed out.

An accommodation ship, most often Miray’s Gemini, can also include meeting and private office space for project managers and other subcontractors.

For local vendors and subcontractors, Miray’s vessels are often used for meal service as well, cutting down on off-site time.

“We also provide IT, security services, and gangway management with our proprietary wristband system to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone onboard,” Holmes said.

“We meet daily with the cruise line, shipyard, and our management team and can modify services as needed on a daily basis and ensure everyone is on the same page with regard to expectations. We also provide daily gangway entry/exit logs, and financial updates as requested. Communication is very important to us and is definitely a priority.”

Planning for chartering accommodation ships generally starts about six months out.

“This allows us to be engaged with the project team and attend project meetings early on to understand expectations and work through any challenges they may anticipate. We provide assistance with berthing arrangements, menu planning, mealtime planning, security, IT, as well as any other planning that is needed,” Holmes explained.

Accommodation ships may be crucial in a COVID-19 world.

“By housing everyone within the shipyard, if the cruise line chooses to not allow vendors to go into town, they can also minimize the potential contraction of COVID-19 or any other sickness,” Holmes said. “We provide hand sanitizing stations around the vessel and temperature checks for everyone who boards the vessel as well as frequent PCR testing on our crew.”

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