The Spanish shipyard group has further consolidated its position as the leading European cruise shiprepair specialist over the past few years
Navantia handled a total of 14 cruise ship projects in 2022, down slightly from 18 cruise ships in 2021. However, the latter was an exceptionally strong year because of the return of cruise business after the worst of the pandemic, with quite a few projects postponed from 2020 being worked on.
Over the first half of 2023, Navantia repaired eight cruise ships, suggesting that this year will be more active overall than last. As a spokesperson for Navantia points out: “This is a very busy period for cruise ship repairs so we are very confident about the outlook for the rest of this year, and beyond. Our current shiprepair programme includes back-to-back bookings of cruise ships from January through to June 2024.”
While Navantia expects to see a lot of cruise ship activity over the next 18 months or so, most of these projects are focused on general repairs, rather than complex refits. Environmental regulation related work is expected to feature in a number of projects, with the application of silicone hull coating systems providing popular, while clients are also considering the installation of air lubrication systems and modifications to the propeller and rudder areas.
Navantia also says it expects to see an increase in workload due to changes in US legislation related to disabled access. This will require a lot of necessary adaptation work to be carried out on many existing cruise ships during their drydocking periods, the company suggests.
Highlights of the year to date include repairs to Carnival Pride, which provided Navantia with a very intense docking with a considerable amount of work undertaken in a short time frame. Another remarkable project earlier this year involved the emergency docking of Cunard’s Queen Victoria due to a damaged propeller blade. The vessel arrived mid-voyage with all passengers onboard and the docking was completed in only four days. Looking ahead, a notable project booked in for later this year will involve Navantia making a replacement funnel for Carnival Freedom, which is due to dock in October.
Most of Navantia’s cruise ship work is carried out at its Cadiz Bay facility, which is well suited for both general repairs and major refits and retrofitting work, as well as vessel revitalisation programmes. The Cadiz Bay yard is supported by Navantia Ferrol Estuary which complements its activities with a particular focus on medium sized passenger vessels and those operating on Northern European routes.