Harland & Wolff (H&W) has been awarded a drydocking contract for two cruise ships.
P&O Cruises’ ‘Aurora’ and Cunard Line’s ‘Queen Victoria’ will occupy the Belfast drydock for a total of 33 days.
Work due to be undertaken on both ships are standard drydocking operations that will give H&W the opportunity to demonstrate to the wider cruise industry, its skills, capabilities and expertise in these types of projects, the company said.
The first ship to dock will be the ‘Queen Victoria’. She will be in the yard from 2nd – 19th May, 2022 and will be the largest cruise ship to have drydocked in a UK shipyard and the only Cunard ship to have drydocked in Belfast.
‘Aurora’ will be in the yard from the 9th – 23rd June, 2022.
With the recent release of the UK’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSbS), repairs & maintenance projects, as well as through life support services, are key activities that will facilitate the continuity of skills and enhance productivity levels that will be required to win newbuilding projects, H&W said.
As indicated in the NSbS report, there are over 150 domestic vessels to be built in the coming years in addition to the fabrication works for the renewables sector, following the latest ScotWind licensing round and future licensing rounds yet to be announced.
H&WGroup CEO, John Wood, commented:
“When acquiring the assets of Harland and Wolff (Belfast) in December, 2019 and in a pre-pandemic period, the cruise industry was one of our key target markets.
“Our facilities are ideally placed to capitalise on these types of large projects whilst we continue servicing our smaller but regular clients. We have now secured contracts in four out of our five markets; commercial, cruise & ferry, renewables and energy – we now look forward to completing the final milestone of securing a defence contract in the near future.”
Carnival UK, Vice President Maritime, David Varty, added:
“We are delighted to be able to have these two ships at a UK shipyard with such a long heritage and reputation and we very much look forward to supporting the UK maritime industry and working closely with the Harland & Wolff team on this project.”