Boka Vanguard to serve as dry dock in “world first operation”
Boskalis has secured a unique contract for its flagship heavy transport vessel Boka Vanguard. It will serve as a drydock facility for Carnival’s second-largest cruise ship Carnival Vista. “This is a world-first operation,” Boskalis states.
The Carnival Vista can carry nearly 4,000 passengers and has a length in excess of 300 meters. Due to technical issues with its azipods, the ship’s main propulsion system, the vessel must be repaired in a dry dock. However, such a facility is currently not available in the Bahamas region, where the ship is operating.
Boskalis has offered a unique solution to facilitate this dry dock repair anyway, by deploying the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy lift vessel Boka Vanguard. The Carnival Vista will be loaded onto the Boka Vanguard off the coast of Freeport, Bahamas. The ship will then transport it to a nearby shipyard facility where the repairs will take place whilst the cruise ship is resting on the Boka Vanguard.
The loading and lifting operation is planned to take place between 12 and 14 July. Upon completion of the repairs, Carnival Vista will be offloaded in time for its next cruise voyage later this month, Boskalis states.
The operation is good news for the deployment of Boskalis’ heavy transport fleet, which has been lacking demand from its main contractor, the oil and gas industry, since the oil price drop in 2014. Boskalis has since been looking for new ways to deploy its fleet.
“We have marketed our vessels as dry dock facilities for a while now. It’s great to see that this has now worked out for the first time. If it’s up to us, more operations like this will follow,” a spokesperson for Boskalis tells PCJ’s sister publication Nieuwbslad Transport.