16 October 2020

Unique project undertaking sees vessel constructed inland on location

On 13th October 2020, Damen Shipyards Group and Winander Leisure Limited signed the Protocol of Delivery and Acceptance for the official handover of MV Swift, a vessel to be operated by Windermere Lake Cruises Limited. The project has been a unique one, with Damen building the vessel inland on location at Windermere in the Lake District National Park in the UK.

Over the past 40 years, Damen has delivered over 1.000 of vessels via the Damen Technical Cooperation (DTC). DTC makes possible the building of Damen vessels, anywhere in the world, at non-Damen locations. This is the first DTC project that the shipbuilder has carried out in the UK. Damen has built MV Swift in a car park on the lakeside owned by the client.

As well as being a UK National Park, the Lake District is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Damen has worked closely with both its client and the local community in order to ensure compliance with the robust regulations in place to protect this important environment.

MV Swift is the seventeenth vessel in Windermere Lake Cruises’ fleet. She is a unique vessel, tailored to Windermere Lake Cruises’ requirements. The company is one of the UK’s most popular attractions, welcoming over 1.6 million visitors in a normal year.

To serve these people, Windermere Lake Cruises needed a vessel that was able to operate in a variety of weather conditions, year-round, picking up and dropping off passengers from small jetties around the lake. To those ends, MV Swift features covered decks with large windows and, at 34 metres, is slightly smaller than the company’s current flagships.

Damen sales manager Mike Besijn said of the handover, “I am very happy to be delivering this special vessel. Working together on this with Windermere Lake Cruises, we have made the project into a success. This is a very unique way of building a vessel, requiring a lot of flexibility and we could not have done it without the support of our customer. Their operational experience has been priceless to us throughout the construction process. I would particularly like to thank managing director Nigel Wilkinson and operations director John Woodburn for the excellent cooperation. It’s been a pleasure to work with them.”

Photo credit @Skylark Aerial Photography

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