On arrival at Damen Shiprepair Brest last November, Queen Elizabeth was placed in the yard’s drydock number 3. This is one of the largest in Europe at 420m in length and 80m wide, and so was able to easily accommodate the large 294m long, 32m cruise liner, which is the newest vessel in the Cunard fleet.
Work carried out by contractors and original equipment manufacturers included maintenance to the stabilisers, podded propulsion system, bow thrusters and water intakes. Meanwhile, above the waterline work was carried out to install twin exhaust gas cleaning systems to improve the environmental performance of its six MaK Diesel engines. The scrubber installations, along with all the pipe and ducting work, involved the removal of two cabins to accommodate the additional equipment.
Inside the vessel, the refurbishment included upgrades to a series of cabins and corridors, along with the ship’s spa and part of the retail space. Ashore, the Damen yard performed routine maintenance to Queen Elizabeth’s 18 lifeboats, 47 liferafts and its various tenders, and also cleaned and repainted the hull and topsides of the ship.
The project represented a major logistical operation, with a total of 250 third-party contractors working alongside Damen Shiprepair Brest personnel. Large quantities of materials were moved onboard the vessel during the operation, while substantial amounts of waste came ashore for disposal as the cabins were refurbished. A series of large temporary shelters were erected alongside to provide suitable working and storage space for the many contractors involved.
According to Damen: “Our experienced project management team ensured that everything went smoothly. In the event, the programme was completed a day early, with Queen Elizabeth back at her home port of Southampton in late November ready for her next cruise.”
Damen Shiprepair Brest is conveniently located for cruise ship operators that use Southampton. The two locations are just 10-12 hours steaming time apart and have good ferry and air links.
Damen adds: “With drydocks capable of holding the very largest vessels and a spacious, unconstricted site, our Brest yard has plenty of room for contractors to store and access their materials and equipment, an important requirement for large-scale projects on a tight deadline. With these physical advantages, and an experienced workforce, it is no surprise that Damen Shiprepair Brest has cruise ship repair and maintenance bookings up to five years ahead.”