Freedom at sea

Thanks JK for all the great news and info you have been posting. Great to see. I encourage all of our readers to post comments, its easy and you dont have to be a member of Blogger to do so.

It appears that Royal Caribbean marketing dept. did their homework on the launch of Freedom of the Seas as it was all over the news over the last month, good PR. Some of you might of caught the fact that Freedom was "launched" from Germany. But the ship was actually built in Finland at the Turku yard of Aker. Well it turns out the ship had to go into drydock, because of pod issues. Kinda strange really since RCCL and Aker has much experience with podded propulsion, I am curious to find out what exactly was the cause. Of course with the building of the next two Freedom class ships underway, (second is named Liberty of the Seas and the other is yet un named), there was no room in Finland. So off it went for sea trials and dry dock in Hamburg before being delivered to RCCL.

A little more on RCCL, the company has also being getting lots of press over the anouncement of Genesis, a massive 240,000 ton ship to be built by ..... Aker ... of course. The ship is actually too big to be built in the current Turku yard, but apparently they have enough room to expand the dry dock. But then again, with the "aquisition" of Chantier de l'Atlantique in France last year the ship could well be built in France. Mmmmm.

Genesis and her sister ship will be powered by the usual RCCL Wartsila 46 series engines. The plan I heard of, calls for 6 main engines in a similar plant design as of the Freedom / Voyager class. Those ships have six 12V46 in them, the Genesis design calls for 3 V16 and 3 V12. At that size, one wonders if a gas turbine might not be a bad ideas since I am sure there will plenty of need for power, even in port.

Huh oh, did I say Gas Turbine, I dont remember if I am repeating myself since its been so long since I posted something online (sorry - moving is hell), but RCCL is doing some major renovating of the Radiance class of ships, and some of the Celebrity ships as well. These are the gas turbines powered ships. Really ahead of most regulations on pollutions, but when you are the only one doing it, its kind of silly to take a finnancial hit with fuel prices what they are now, especially when no one else does it, well except for Princess. Anyways, the fuel price crunch is forcing some major changes to this part of the fleet as they will be going one by one to the yard and getting a diesel engine installed.

Story goes that the ships are pretty much preped to go now, with a new section of the hull allready built, with an engine and related equipment installed. The ship pulls into drydock, the old section cut out, the new section with the diesel "slid" in place. Talk about ambitious engineering, these guys really dont mess around, they do and plan these things and make it seem easy.

Anyway the removed section will then be used as the base for the next ship's diesel update. The gas turbines, both of them, will remain in the ships and fully useable. When at sea with enough power demand the gas turbine will be used and when in port with low power consumption, the diesel will be used. As you can well imagine, the nightmare of not just installing, but making fit into an existing ship, which has no current HFO set up; wow, what a daunting task.

Anyways thats enough for now.