Curacao Carves A Cruise Niche
Riding the often tumultuous wares of freight rate boom and bust, Curacao Drydock has carved a unique niche of business in this Caribbean paradise.
Since August 2000 the Curacao Drydock Company started to feel the effect of an improving cargo market. The amount of inquiries doubled since the first six months and the amount of bookings followed soon. Instead of patching of the ships, the owner decided to stop his ship for a few days to make sure the vessel is in good shape, ready to enter the better paid charter.
Times, though, have been different.
In 1998 and 1999, the cargo market was so depressed that owners could not afford to carry out many repairs. The school of thought at this time was to keep the vessel trading as long as possi- ble. As the amount of work was not enough for the yard to survive, yard management decided to explore new markets. During the initial phase of investigation, it became apparent that there was a limited amount of capacity able to dry-dock the newer generation of cruise vessels.
Curacao's A-dock was built especially for the larger tankers calling on the local refinery during the 1970s and for economical reasons was built on a slope of 1:100. Cruise vessels of the newer generation, however, cannot make this condition, and this was one of the primary reasons the yard never pursued the cruise market. In addition, the yard was bustling with activity in the tanker, bulk carrier and container vessel segments.
On March 23, 2000, Vision of the Seas entered Curacao Drydock for a repair period of 17 days. The major focus of the job was the replacement of a 40 tons stator of the propulsion motor. The job was completed within the allotted time frame, and the staff of Royal Caribbean left satisfied. From this repair, the yard learned much about the cruise market and its needs, and summarily plotted a course of investment to ensure it was prepared to meet these needs in the future. To adjust to the requirements of the larger cruise companies, management of the yard approved an investment plan that included four new generator sets, a fully automated switch board and a sewage plant. On this ship a fully automated Hammelmann Dockmaster was used for water blasting.
Circle 39 on Reader Service Card
Other stories from February 2001 issue
- Plug & Play page: 36B
- Uniservice: Innovative Product Keeps Cruise Ships Running page: 36C
- Transas Expands Capabilities page: 36G
- Kvaerner Conducts Sea Trials; Docks Out New Cruise Vessels page: 36A
- Drew Offers Electronic Steam System Monitoring page: 36H
- Crystal Cruises Signs Contract For New Ship page: 5
- Mediterranean Shipping Orders New Cruise Ship page: 5
- Two-Stroke Milestones page: 8
- Dear President Bush... Reasons for More Title XI Funding page: 11
- Real Time, On-line Credit Services Offered page: 14
- Major Ocean Carriers Partner To Launch E-Commerce Solution page: 15
- San Francisco Bay Area Company Leads in NOX Reduction page: 16
- Alabama Shipyard Signs Another Tug/Barge Contract page: 17
- Bollinger To Construct Supply Boat Trio page: 19
- Curacao Carves A Cruise Niche page: 20
- U.S. Lines' MS Patriot Challenges Cascade General page: 21
- Royal Caribbean Stock Downgraded page: 25
- ! Safe Haven1 Debate Could Have Resounding Effects page: 27
- ABS Under Fire, Fights Back page: 29
- Queen Mary 2: Cunard's Answer to Royalty on the Seas page: 30
- Kaparis Defines Safety on Cruise Ships page: 32
- The Dickinson Way page: 34
- Oceancell by GEOLINK: The First GSM Solution Via Satellite Aboard Ships page: 40
- Heroes on the High Seas page: 43
- MAVCO Onboard Explorer Of The Seas page: 49
- New Cat-Powered Tugboat Ordered As Gdansk Gears Up For Port Growth page: 58
- ARCOMS Appoints President For Subsidiary page: 61
- Grat Cruise Ships of 2000 page: 71
- The Cradle of Cruising Creativity? page: 72