Cunard’s ‘Queen Elizabeth’ recently left Damen Shiprepair Brest (DSBr) following a 12-day repair and refit programme.
The refit was highly intensive with a series of major systems being overhauled or installed.
On arrival the ship was placed in Damen Shiprepair Brest’s drydock No 3, one of the largest in Europe at 420 m in length, and OEMs began immediately on maintenance to her stabilisers, ABB Azipods, bow thrusters and water intakes.
Meanwhile, above the waterline work was undertaken to install twin exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), which, 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 a series of cabins and corridors, along with the ship’s spa and part of the retail area.
Ashore, DSBr performed routine maintenance to ‘Queen Elizabeth’s’ lifeboats, liferafts and tenders, and the yard also cleaned and repainted the hull and her topsides.
The project represented a major logistical operation, with multiple third-party teams working alongside the DSBr personnel and each other. In total, around 250 people were working on the project.
Large quantities of materials were taken on board the vessel while substantial amounts of waste came ashore for disposal, as the cabins were refurbished. DSBr’s project management team erected a series of large temporary shelters for the contractors’ use.
In the event, the refit was completed a day early, with ‘Queen Elizabeth’ back at her home port of Southampton on the morning of 27th November.
Damen Shiprepair Brest is claimed to be exceptionally convenient for cruise ship operators that use Southampton being just 10-12 hours steaming away and has excellent ferry and air links.
With its drydocks capable of holding the very largest vessels and a spacious, unconstricted site, it 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.
DSBr said that it has cruise shiprepair and maintenance bookings up to five years ahead.