Cruise ships lengthened at Italian yard

The new middle section measured 29m long and weighed 2,540t The new middle section measured 29m long and weighed 2,540t

A shipyard in Palermo, Italy, has completed the lengthening of two vessels to make them the longest cruise ships in the world.

The Grimaldi Roma and Grimaldi Barcelona operate on the busy Civitavecchia-Barcelona route and the lengthening, at Fincantieri has provided them both with increased capacity.

ALE used its skidding and shipyard transportation expertise to install new sections and successfully lengthen each ship by 29m, taking them to around 255m once complete. As both cruise ships were similar, the manoeuvres could be carried out using the same specialist heavylifting procedure.

In each case, the new middle section, measuring 29m long and weighing 2,540t, was transported from an assembly area within the shipyard. The skid shoes were installed in three slip lines, one central and two lateral. Then the bow section, measuring 225m long and weighing 10,500t, was skidded 45m.

Afterwards, the intermediate section was transported to its final position to be joined with the aft section. Finally, the bow was skidded to be joined to the new section. In consideration of the sheer size and weight of the sections, ALE opted for lateral skidding to ensure stability throughout.

“We used our experience from similar operations around the world to complete this kind of project for the first time in the country,” explained Filippo Anello, Global Projects Division Director for ALE.

Both vessels were also originally built by Fincantieri.

By Jake Frith

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