July 16, 2019 - A spectacular thing happened last Saturday outside Freeport in the Bahamas. The semi-submersible ship BOKA Vanguard piggybacked the 324 meter long Carnival Vista, measured at 133.596 GT, to bring it to the Grand Bahama Shipyard. The operation was necessary because repairs to the Azipods could not be postponed.
The BOKA Vanguard is the world's largest semi-submersible transport unit. It was developed to transport extremely large loads dry and safe. Such cargoes are often large offshore oil and gas production facilities. The ship has an impressive track record in this area. The BOKA Vanguard also transports large ships and is also used as a dry dock. The unit, which is open on both sides, measures 275 meters in length and 70 meters in width. As in the case of the Carnival Vista, the construction, which is open on the narrow sides, allows loads that are significantly longer than 275 meters. By flooding the ballast tanks, the float descends in a controlled manner to take up the load. After the semi-submersible has floated up, the load is moved to another place.
Carnival Vista piggybacks © Boskalis
The Carnival Vista was loaded as follows: After the BOKA Vanguard had submerged, it was placed over the semi-submerged with the help of a tug. Then the tanks were pumped empty and the Carnival Vista rose above the surface of the water together with the floating dock. The entire action took around twelve hours. The repair work on the Carnival cruise ship is being carried out at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport / Bahamas. The shipyard has good references. It docked and serviced a total of 2017 cruise ships in 23. As a result of defective Azipods, the Carnival Vista had to be repaired at short notice. Azipods are ship propellers driven by electric motors. The propeller pods can be rotated 360 degrees for better maneuverability. Carnival Vista only entered service in May 2016.
Docking the Carnival Vista © Boskalis
According to the current schedule, the cruise ship will resume its year-round seven-day Caribbean cruises on July 27th.