The ship undergo three days of sea trials
Last week saw six tugs belonging to Boluda’s fleet in the French port of Saint Nazaire provide service to the cruise ship “Harmony of the Seas” as it underwent sea trials.
The dimensions of this giant are really impressive: 362m LOA, 66m beam and 72m height, equivalent to a 20-storey building; the “Harmony of the Seas” can transport 5,497 people in its 2,747 cabins. The construction of the vessel, which was commissioned by the American shipping company RCCL, has lasted 4 years.
The manoeuvre is technically very complicated, as the cruise ship must be turned around in a small area as it exits in reverse from the outfitting quay, powered by its own engines and assisted by tugs. “There is no room for improvisation”, says Arnaud Tiseront, COO of Boluda in the port of Nantes-Saint Nazaire. “There is a need for excellent coordination with the pilots who are on board. This is one of the keys to the success of an operation involving a giant vessel of these dimensions. Currents and wind should also be scrutinized closely.”
Finally, the huge ship begins to move slowly and gradually leaves the port. It is at this moment when 5 of the tugs release the vessel and it movements are monitored by a single tug, the VB Pouliguen. “A perfect and well-prepared manoeuvre”, says Eric Autin, skipper of VB Pouliguen, “It represents a success both for the shipyard and for ourselves.“
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