How is a cabin is built in this day of containerization and commodization? Remotely of course. Eurodam News, Holland America’s blog showcasing the shipyard activities around their latest new build project, brings us photos of the stateroom installation.
Of potential interest to readers of this blog the method shown here is very similar to how accommodation blocks are built aboard modern commercial ships. In conjuntion with this trend is the movement towards equality among crew members, which means the Captain’s cabin is often identical to that of the most junior crew member minus the extra rack. This is in stark contrast to my first ship, a Wrecks Act tanker built in Japan, which contained bunkrooms for junior crew members and a four room (day room, office, sitting room, cabin) suite for the Captain.
It’s also not only the cabin that is built remotely and installed on site. Often entire accommodation or specialty modules are built by separate companies and placed atop the hull, which itself is built in parts and transported within the shipyard (photo example). Examples include Transocean’s newest drillship the Clear Leader, Polar Tanker’s latest ships and the Semi-Submersible Development Driller II shown in this Leirvik modular fabrication brochure.
The titan of the industry, however, is Aker Yards’. Their cabin division produces over 9000 cabin and bathroom units annually. Cruise Critics gives us an inside look at their “Cabin Factory”;
In the tiny town of Piikkio, nestled in farm country some 20 kilometers from the shipbuilding city of Turku, Aker Yards Cabins has been building pre-designed cruise cabins for 20 years. Here, panels are assembled to make walls and ceilings. Toilets are installed and shower floors, made of hard plastic and designed to resemble colorful mosaic combinations, have been pre-made and are ready to be laid in bathrooms. Entire technical systems — each cabin has its own — are put in place. Telephones, mini-bars and even electric sockets (providing access to European and American currents), along with data ports, are all snugly outfitted into a vanity desk/wall unit that’s arrived from a furniture factory elsewhere in Finland.
Even the beds hang tightly from the walls.
If you’ve ever cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance-, Voyager- or Freedom-class ships in anything but a huge suite, you’ve stayed in one of these prefabs.
Here’s video of Aker’s “Cabin Factory”;