Carnival has just announced that they will be utilizing a Semi-Submersible Heavy Lift (SSHL) Ship to repair the damaged Carnival Vista.
The Carnival Vista was the first neo-panamax ship for Carnival Cruise Lines to utilize azmuthing pods for her propulsion. As is the case for many of these, there’s been some growing pains with this type of propulsion. As a result of some premature wear, they’ve had to operate her at a reduced speed. Based in Galveston, full speed is essential as there are may long legs of the voyage that require close to top speed. A decision was made to pull her from service and repair her soonest.
Problem was, there wasn’t a yard available in the western hemisphere. After the drydock collapsed when trying to lift the Oasis of the Seas earlier this year, the Grand Bahama Shipyard didn’t have anything capable of lifting the 133,500gt, 1,055ft LOA Vista out of the water. This needs to be done as they need full, dry access to the pod in order to remove certain parts of it.
Well today Carnival announced they partnered with the Dutch heavy lift specialist Royal Boskalis, formerly Dockwise B.V., and will charter the BOKA Vanguard (ex-Dockwise Vanguard).
This SSHL will submerge her deck:
The Vista will be towed directly above it.
Then they will pump out her ballast tanks, and both ships will rise out of the water.
They’ll then have access to fix the pod over dry land.
While this kind of practice is pretty common in the offshore oil & gas industry, it’s rarely used in the cruise industry. However, Carnival Corp. is no stranger to this ship. Under her previous name, Dockwise Vanguard, she was used to lift the Costa Concordia onto, in order to transport her to the breakers.
The operation is planned for July 12th and the Vista is planning to be back in service on July 27th.