Enchantment of the Seas – Creating A Bigger Cruise Ship

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December 23, 2008

Amazing planet brings us How To Stretch A Ship – Creating A Bigger Cruise Ship. Click HERE to view the photos.

While this may photo look troubling to some unknowing future vacationers, the process of lengthening a ship is in fact perfectly safe and now more commonly used in order to quickly meet increasing demand at lower costs than producing new ships altoghether.  The photo above is of Royal Carribean’s Enchantment of the Seas and was the third ship in their fleet to be lengthened and the largest ship ever to go through the process.

Royal Carribean explains the lengthening process:

Royal Caribbean teamed with two European shipyards to stretch the eight-year-old Enchantment Of The Seas. Aker Finnyards of Finland, which built the original ship, was given overall responsibility for designing, building and installing the mid-body section. Aker asked Keppel Verolme of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to split the ship in two, insert the midsection, and reassemble the parts. When again whole, Enchantment Of The Seas will return to sea for sea trials and soon afterwards will resume service on July 7, 2005.

Planning among the three teams began more than a year ago.  Construction started on the mid-body last September, and the finished mid-body sailed the Baltic and North seas by barge 2,300 kilometers (1,430 miles) to Rotterdam earlier this month. Meanwhile, Enchantment Of The Seas arrived May 15 at the Keppel Verolme yard and entered dry dock, where the mid-body was waiting. The size of the dry-dock bay, one of the largest in the world, allowed the ship and mid-body to sit side-by-side, and allowed for use of an advanced and faster lengthening process.

Splitting the ship in two took workers six days to cut through more than 600 meters (1,969 linear feet) of steel with gas and oxygen torches and circular saws. Once they were severed, sections were moved into place with skids and hydraulic jacks, which were guided by a laser alignment system. The 10,265-metric-ton (11,315-ton) bow section slid first. The 2,666-metric-ton (2,939-ton) mid-body was then moved into alignment and pushed back toward the ship’s aft section. The bow section was then moved back into place.

The mid-section, which was a total of 73 ft., stretched the vessel to a lenght of 990 ft. and added 151 new staterooms and a number of new venues and amenities, including soaring suspension bridges, a vitality course with four fitness stops, an interactive water fountain play area and the first bungee trampolines at sea.

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