Published at Friday, May 18th 2018. by daniel amoien in Cruise Ship Cabins.
There are some other figures that must be tabulated into the total cost of ownership. Acquisition cost is first and foremost. The next figure is the cost to put the ship in service. On an older ship this cost may be higher than the acquisition cost. On the other hand the cost to put a ship into service can be much lower if you were to get a good deal on a ship that already meets the international standards for ship safety especially SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea). Maintaining compliance with Chapter II SOLAS 74 amendments is cost prohibitive for some older ships and they are typically scrapped instead of being refurbished at great expense. There is a very important SOLAS implementation date coming up on January 10 2010. On that date all commercial international ships will be required to be in compliance with the new fire safety codes. The most important new codes deal with the use of combustible materials in the ship. It will be expensive to replace all combustible materials in ships with non-combustible or flame resistant SOLAS compliant materials that meet the new safety standards. This will result in many ships being sold for scrap metal.
At 153000 tons with a passenger capacity of 4100 (based on double occupancy) the Norwegian Epic is by far the largest ship in the NCL fleet. In fact with the exception of Royal Caribbean`s Oasis of the Seas (which was launched in December 2009) NCL`s Epic is among the largest cruise ships at sea. It is also one of the most uniquely designed cruise ships that I have ever been on (... and I`ve been on quite a few). In most cases that uniqueness is a very positive attribute which reflects the thoughtfulness and attention that the Epic`s designers must have paid to maximizing the use of space to achieve a much bigger wide-open feel to all of the ship`s public areas. And the way that one area just seemed to flow into the next (without the cookie-cutter rigidity sometimes found on cruise ships) was truly remarkable. But in a few areas I did not perceive the unique design of the ship to be an advantage. For instance the exterior shape of the ship seemed a bit odd to me. The bow is somewhat stubby-looking and the stern is squared-off so that the ship does not have a sleek appearance from the outside. Adding to the irregular look is a massive 3-deck appendage that was seemingly plopped on top of the front section as an afterthought (or more likely to further maximize the ship`s interior space). Obviously the ship`s designers had to make some trade-off`s to accomplish everything they did inside the ship and after all from a passenger`s perspective the interior design is far more important.
SOLAS 2010 also offers a tremendous opportunity for those who may prefer to have a very large houseboat instead of a commercial ship. Ships that are not in compliance with SOLAS 2010 are now selling for a song (inexpensively). A cruise ship can easily be converted into a megayacht with the stroke of a pen. Privately owned yachts not in commercial service and not carrying passengers or cargo for hire are exempt from many of the SOLAS requirements. Operating costs are also lower for a private yacht. It cost less to register flag and insure a private yacht. Megayachts can be flagged and classified for unlimited service. That means that a megayacht can go practically anywhere you want it to go. There is one major drawback to registering a cruise ship as a private yacht. You cannot use the yacht commercially. This cuts off a potential revenue source.
While onboard one of NCL`s executives asked me what I thought of the ship and what type of client it would be best suited for. Without hesitation I responded that the Epic would be most appreciated by the client who has been on many cruise ships and now wants to experience something truly unique. Consistent with that it`s no coincidence that my wife booked the 15-year anniversary cruise for Direct Line Cruises` staff on the NCL Epic and now that we`ve gotten a small taste of it we can hardly wait until September when we set sail on the Epic for 7 nights.
There is a company called Kiteship that has developed and produces kites for racing sailboats. These sailing kites do not require a mast. The kites fly high above the vessel attached by cable and controlled from the vessel. Dave Culp of Kiteship has done a technical feasibility study on fitting a very large kite onto a conventional cruise ship. This would dramatically reduce fuel consumption. It would convert a fuel guzzler to a green machine. This is tantamount to converting a powerboat into a sail boat. The design of a cruise ship limits the amount of sail that a conventional ship can safely accommodate. A cruise ship lacks the ballast of a sail boat. If used in addition to the main engine(s) the kite will increase fuel efficiency. If the kite is used to pull the ship with the main engines shut down the ship`s speed will be reduced substantially. However in this case not only would the ship save IFO (main engine fuel) but also save MDO (generator engine fuel). If the kite were pulling the ship unassisted by the ship`s engines then the propellers could be used to propel the ship`s generators without firing up the diesel generator engines. Even if the ship were traveling very slowly in the water the propellers would turn in reverse if freed from the main engines. This is a very simple and easy task for the ship`s engineer to accomplish. In other words the ship can be pulled by the kite and that motion will push the ship`s propellers providing power to produce electricity and power the air-conditioning without using any fuel. The trade-off is a loss of speed and also some tacking is required further reducing actual speed. What`s the rush? Why not go for maximum fuel savings? The salient point is that a high flying large kite can pull a cruise ship. If I were a co-owner of a cruise ship I would hope to find like minded co-owners who would be receptive to using such state-of-the-art technologies to save fuel.
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