Oliver Design, a Spanish firm specialising in ship design and naval architecture has signed a contract with the UK’s Magna Carta Steamship Co to carry out extensive alterations on a Turkish-registered ferry.
She will be rebuilt to operate as a luxury cruise ship, tailored to service the Scottish lochs and coasts.
Oliver Design completed a similar project for the same client in 2000, allowing Magna Carta to offer a unique tourist cruise taking in Loch Ness and the Hebrides Islands via the Caledonian Canal.
Under the turnkey contract signed in September, the ‘Necdet Ali Yildirim’ arrived at Vigo on 22nd October. The two-deck ferry formerly sailed on a seven-kilometre route between the Turkish port of Çeşme and the Greek island of Chios.
She is now to be converted into a luxury vessel capable of accommodating 50 passengers on four decks and embarking on week-long voyages.
The ship is to be renamed ‘Lord of the Highlands’ and registered under the British flag. Currently 42 m in length and 9 in beam, she is of 398 gt. Her new mission requires radical alterations, including lengthening and widening, construction of an additional deck and complete refurbishment of the interiors to house the 50 passengers and a crew of 17.
Alongside engineering firm Insenaval, Oliver Design has taken charge of the technical aspects of the re-design, including plans of the new structure and design of stability and safety solutions. It will also be responsible for obtaining certificates of compliance with international maritime regulations for the vessel’s new lay-out from Bureau Veritas and the the UK’s MCA.
As the project manager, Oliver Design will head up planning and execution of the complex rebuilding, partnered by a group of companies with specific specialities in the areas of steel, aluminium, pipes, electricity and carpentry. Some of the work will be performed afloat. All drydock work will be carried out under Oliver Design’s supervision at the Armada shipyard in Vigo.
Entirely new areas and services will have to be fitted out, including a restaurant, bar and lounge area, cabins for passengers and crew, a galley, etc. At the same time, the ‘Lord of the Highlands’ will require additional stability, which will be achieved by adding one metre to the beam, lengthening the ship by two metres, by fitting a new steel bow and adding greater height above the waterline.