The lifting of the US ‘No-Sail Order’ puts cruise shipbuilding back on track and activities at resin applications specialist Bolidt have quickly ramped up in response, the company revealed.
In what represents a significant step forward for the cruise industry, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have given the green light for a phased resumption of US passenger ship operations. Several cruise lines are now planning to restart in December, while others are set to follow early next year.
With owners keen to deliver the best possible cruise experience when full operations resume, renewal and construction projects placed on hold at the height of the pandemic are underway. For flooring and decking designer Bolidt, demand is on the rise once more.
“Initially, the coronavirus outbreak had an impact on our work in the cruise sector,” explained Jacco van Overbeek, Bolidt’s Director Maritime. “But ever since the cruise lines began preparing for a new chapter, our expertise has remained in high demand: operators in various segments of the sector and from around the world have continued to discuss projects with us, and we are working hard to support their ambitions.”
Bolidt will soon begin refit works on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ ’Breakaway’ and ’Getaway’, scheduled to drydock early next year – to follow the current refit of ’Epic’, all of which are taking place in Marseille. The company has recently completed projects with Marella Cruises’ ’Discovery’ and ’Marella Explorer 2’.
However, the majority of ongoing contracts, explained van Overbeek, have involved newbuildings, including expedition ships, luxury passenger ships and river cruise vessels.
“In the expedition segment, we have completed the first of two orders for Lindblad Expeditions, supplying the sustainable Bolideck® Future Teak for all outdoor decks,” van Overbeek said. Future Teak will also feature on a series of luxury Polar expedition ships for Portugal-based Mystic Cruises.
“We supplied 2019’s ’World Explorer’ and will deliver the same system to its four sisterships, the first of which has just been delivered, and the second scheduled for completion early next year,” he said.
Elsewhere, Bolidt’s involvement in the new SunStone expedition vessel ’Ocean Explorer’ was the company’s first project involving a newbuilding passenger ship in China. Installation work on ’Explorer’s’ sister ship ’Odyssey’ will begin shortly.
Meanwhile, in the luxury segment, Bolidt has supplied Saga’s recently completed ’Spirit of Adventure’ with Bolideck Future Teak, Select Hard and Select Soft. The vessel’s lido deck, featuring Future Teak, recently won an award for its retro design.
“We are delivering the same products to the innovative ’MSC Virtuosa’, as well as to Royal Caribbean’s ’Odyssey of the Seas’, currently under construction. Following this, we will be working on the world’s largest cruise ship, ’Wonder of the Seas’, which is due for delivery next year,” van Overbeek said. Another recent MSC order will see Bolidt fit its new ‘World Class’ series with Bolideck Select Soft Teak Effect and Future Teak.
In river cruising, Bolidt’s relationship with Viking River Cruises remains strong. “We installed Bolidt solutions on a number of recently delivered vessels in Viking’s Longships and Seine fleets, and we will now provide decking for two more Viking vessels, due to be constructed in Alexandria, Egypt for the Egyptian market,” van Overbeek added.
Bolidt’s sustained commitment to the cruise sector is reflected in its decision to keep the doors to its Innovation Centre open throughout the pandemic. Home to high-tech R&D facilities, the centre has remained operational in recent months, allowing cruise owners to pay virtual visits and collaborate with Bolidt’s experts and other industry stakeholders on both new ideas and ongoing projects.
“Our Innovation Centre is a crucial part of our offering as a design enabler,” explained van Overbeek. “It allows us to work closely with clients and partners to respond to changing circumstances and prepare for incoming regulations. We felt it was important to keep the centre open and show cruise operators that we were ready to support them through the challenges posed by this new chapter.”