The cruise ship Carnival Vista has been loaded onto the deck of semi-submersible heavy lift vessel BOKA Vanguard for its dry dock repairs in Freeport, Bahamas.
The Dutch owner of the vessel, Royal Boskalis Westminster, said the loading operation commenced on Saturday a few miles of fthe coast of Freeport. The operation, including the refloat, took approximately 12 hours, the company said.
Once loaded, the BOKA Vanguard transported the Carnival Vista to Grand Bahama Shipyard where repairs to the ship’s azipods will take place while the cruise ship is resting on the BOKA Vanguard. Once completed, Carnival Vista will be offloaded in time for its next scheduled voyage departing from Galveston in Texas on 27 July.
The BOKA Vanguard, with an open deck measuring 275-meter by 70-meter, is the world’s largest semi-submersible heavy lift ship and is typically used to lift offshore oil and gas structures and other vessels in need of transport.
Use of the vessel as a sort of mobile dry dock, however, is believed to be the first operation of its type anywhere in the world. Boskalis said the decision to use the BOKA Vanguard as a dry dock platform comes as no other equipment is available in the region.
Freeport, located just 90 nautical miles from Miami, is home to Grand Bahama Shipyard, one of the premiere repair yards for South Florida-based cruise ships. One the yard’s three dry docks was damaged earlier this year in an accident that took place during repairs of the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. We reached out to GBS for comment but we have not heard back.
You can view a video of the loading operation below: