Norwegian Joy

Drydocking of Norwegian Joy

February 2024
Ship name
Norwegian Joy
Ship type
Sea Cruise
Damen Verolme Rotterdam
Tasks performed for this project

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy arrived at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam’s Botlek yard on 23 January for a period of drydocking. Damen was awarded the contract following the successful execution of a similar scope of work to the sister vessel Norwegian Escape in 2021.

Reaching new heights

One of the primary aims of the project was to enhance the onboard experience for guests aboard the 333.46 x 41.4 metre vessel. This entailed a wide-ranging scope including the addition of new accommodation space and upgrades to leisure and entertainment facilities.

The undertaking of the project involved some considerable logistical challenges, drawing upon the almost 3,000m2 warehouse space available at the Damen Botlek yard and requiring a combination of assorted mobile and yard cranes. The twenty-deck Norwegian Joy is notable for her considerable height. To reach this, the yard brought in an additional 450-ton crane with fly-jib from nearby Mammoet.

Time is of the essence

As with all cruise maintenance projects, timing was critical to success. To get things off to the best possible start, the yard undertook round-the-clock during the entire drydock. The hard work paid off; despite Norwegian Joy docking one day later than scheduled on 23 January as a result of the weather, all works were completed a day earlier than anticipated. The vessel was able to re-enter the water on 11 February, in plenty of time for her next sailing, an 11-day Atlantic Crossing from Southampton to Port Miami commencing on 13 February. 

Increased accommodation

Included in the scope was the repurposing of part of the Observation Lounge on deck 15 for the creation of an additional 22 cabins. For this, Damen had to carry out changes to the superstructure of the ship, replacing windows with balconies.

Once again, Mammoet offered support, providing the 50-metre-high platform required to reach the deck from the dockside.

A notable challenge to the project was the fact that, during the work, some 2,000 crew members remained on board the vessel. Together with the yard employees and subcontractors, this meant that, at times, work was taking place with 3,500 people on board and around the vessel. The Damen Botlek yard, having conducted numerous cruise-related projects over the years, is, however, well-versed in coordinating such hospitality.

Supporting the client

While the vessel was docked, Norwegian Cruise Line was busily carrying out refurbishment to the interior spaces with their own subcontractors. Damen was also required to provide support for this scope. For example, when the client needed to take down two chandeliers, located in the Manhattan Dining Room and in the Atrium, for cleaning and LED replacement, Damen erected two-deck and three-deck-high scaffolding, respectively.

Energy efficiency execution

The Norwegian Joy refurbishment had a keen focus on energy efficiency. Damen’s scope included propellor polishing to ensure its optimal operation, which will make a considerable contribution to reducing the ship’s fuel consumption and emissions.

Furthermore, the vessel received a complete new paint system including silicon paint on the vertical sides. This coating, which is free from potentially harmful biocides, restricts the buildup of marine growth and minimises the vessel’s friction in the water. As a result, the fuel consumption and emissions are further reduced.

Propulsion scope

Damen also conducted maintenance to the Norwegian Joy’s propulsion system, again working in concert with the client and with Mammoet. For this part of the project, the yard removed the vessel’s azipods from the vessel. With this completed, the drives, non-drives, and bearings were replaced in the pods themselves, together with the slew bearings, after which the pods were returned to the vessel.

Project Manager for the Norwegian Joy project Alexander Stijlaart has worked in the cruise sector for 10 years, first as a Marine Engineer for Holland America Line and later with Royal Caribbean on newbuild vessels. He says of this project, “Timing is everything in this sector, everything needs to be done on time – passengers are waiting and delays are unthinkable. In everything we do on a cruise project, this is top of mind. Our track record reflects this.”

Rogier van der Laan Product Manager Cruise and Damen Shiprepair & Conversion agreed, saying, “We’re very grateful to Norwegian Cruise Line for once again placing their trust in Damen with this project. We got off to a challenging start, with the vessel unavoidably arriving a day late due to inclement weather. However, we pulled out all the stops to get the work done satisfactorily and, not only on time and budget, but in advance of the schedule and left one day earlier.”

Damen Verolme Rotterdam

Damen Verolme Rotterdam can accommodate any seagoing vessel or floating offshore unit. The yard is well known for its drydocking, repair and maintenance capabilities and has a long track record of modification and conversion of ‘upstream’ offshore units.
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