Damen Shiprepair converts cruise ship

A fourth ship has been added to the fleet of the new cruise line operator Azamara following extensive refitting at the yard of Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam. Benefiting from equipment overhaul and conversion to cleaner fuel, Azamara Onward sailed to Monte Carlo for her naming festivity in early May 2022.

The 180m passenger vessel was berthed alongside at the Amsterdam yard from August 2021 to refurbish all cabins and suites, and add spa suites and terrace rooms. Shared spaces for passengers, like restaurants, were upgraded and a new bar was created. As a relatively small vessel in today’s cruise market, this vessel aims to offer an intimate luxury cruise experience.

From mid-March through to April 2022, the vessel was in the largest dry dock of Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam for technical and maritime conversion, including lots of steel work for the reconstruction of deck arrangements, balcony structures allowing for the creation of the luxury suites. This steel work was on deck eight and nine, where the onboard spa is located. Steel reinforcements were placed to support the spa pools and installations.

Tanks for ballast water and fuel oil were restructured, to accommodate for bunkering larger volumes of marine grade diesel. The work included a lot of piping throughout the vessel and the engine room. The grey water tanks as well as the tanktop were replaced. Stabilisers on both starboard and port were overhauled and the shaft seals replaced. Thrusters were upgraded to allow for the use of Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (ELAs). The tailshaft and the propeller seal were also replaced.

Damen says that the hull was completely cleaned and painted to fit in with the appearance of the Azamara fleet. The steel logo on the top side was taken off and replaced with the new sign Azamara Onward.

“Azamara selected Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam to complete the revitalisation of the Azamara Onward following an extensive comparative analysis of shipyards in Europe,” says head of marine operations Nico Corbijn of Azamara. “With an estimated investment of approximately 55 million dollars, it was very important for us to identify a yard that could provide not only the technical expertise and know-how for this large project, but also offer logistical support for the outfitting companies and their teams that would be attending the ship daily. Despite the supply chain and labour challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Damen delivered beyond our expectations. The yard team’s collaborative spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude made this refit a technical success, and a reason for us to return to Amsterdam for future engagements.”

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