Seabourn Encore goes above and beyond Safe Return to Port requirements when it comes to the comfort and facilities provided to passengers in the event of an incident
The first steel for Seabourn Cruise Line’s newest vessel, 41,700gt Seabourn Encore, was cut on 13 April 2015. The vessel is due for delivery from Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard on 30 November 2016.
Newbuilding Hull 6251 is considerably larger than previous ships in the operator’s Odyssey class, showing an increase of about 30 per cent in gross tonnage as well as an extra 10m in length. Passenger capacity is 635 – 150 more than Seabourn Odyssey – in 300 suites, each with private balcony.
What marks this ship apart, according to Guido Checchinato, Fincantieri’s merchant ship business unit project manager, is that it will be delivered with higher than required passenger comfort in terms of Safe Return to Port (SRtP). “The particular challenge in building the vessel was SRtP. The owner wanted to guarantee a higher level of comfort for passengers, even in the event of failure. The ship has a huge quantity of equipment, pipes, and so on. Matching all these elements in a ship that is not as large as others was a big engineering challenge, and a challenge in the building phase,” he commented. He added: “This is a luxury ship, so a great deal of attention is paid to the installation.”
In failure condition the ship is able to keep a lot of systems in service, such as the freshwater, grey and black water systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting. Elevators and additional toilets can also be kept in service, so there is a greater level of comfort.
In general with SRtP, the main vertical zone which is affected by fire or flooding is isolated and the passengers are moved to one of two safe areas where some essential comfort systems are guaranteed. On Seabourn Encore, however, the essential systems remain available in all the main vertical zones, except the one affected. Mr Checchinato explained: “In addition to the SRtP requirements the elevators and all the toilets – not just one toilet for every 50 passengers, as expected by SRtP for the safe areas – will be in service.
“All the systems on board that are related to comfort have to be redundant, which means extra equipment and many extra cables, ducts and pipes – much more than on a normal vessel. Both from the engineering and the building point of view this has been a challenge. We have achieved this by adding an extra deck, so Seabourn Encore has one more than Seabourn Odyssey. We have worked hard to guarantee the owner the same spaces with this additional benefit.”
With regard to the hullform, Mr Checchinato told Passenger Ship Technology that this had been completely changed. It has been optimised for the vessel to sail both at a cruise speed of 15 knots and at a full speed of 18.6 knots. “A preliminary waterline optimisation was carried out by Fincantieri’s hydrodynamics department using computational fluid dynamics, focusing on the forward part of the hull and on the bulbous bow. The result is a hull that is tuned within a wide speed range.” The calculations were confirmed during the towing tests performed at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).
“The hull has been coated with an innovative antifouling paint to help maintain speed and remain cleaner for longer, compared to traditional paint.” The coatings from Nippon Paint guarantee lower roughness than previous paints, according to Mr Checchinato. “This paint creates a sort of water trap and has the effect of reducing resistance between the hull and the water.” This is the first time the coatings have been used on a vessel built by Fincantieri.
The power plant is based on four Wärtsilä 12V32 type D engines, with an output of 5,760kW each, a total installed power of 23,040kW, and is compliant with IMO Tier II NOx emissions rules. The capacity plan anticipates the vessel carrying up to 920m3 of heavy fuel oil and 150m3 of marine gas oil, which ensures a range of 5,000 nautical miles at a cruise speed of 15 knots.
There are two Ecospray Technologies scrubbers on board, one fitted to each of the aft main engines, making the vessel compliant with emission control area limits on SOx emissions. “Ecospray optimised the design in order to minimise the amount of space used by the system inside the machinery rooms. This was achieved as a result of using an open loop pipe arrangement. The towers, too, were reduced in size as much as possible in order to fit inside the two funnels of the ship.”
The vessel is propelled by a diesel-electric propulsion plant, with two electric propulsion motors from Wärtsilä SAM Electronics with an output of 6,000kW each. These are coupled with two shaft lines, each one fitted with an outward turning fixed pitch type propeller with five blades and an overall diameter of 4.55m.
A special black and grey water system has been introduced on Seabourn Encore, according to Mr Checchinato. The Wärtsilä advanced wastewater treatment system is fully compliant with IMO’s guidelines on implementation of effluent standards and performance tests for sewage treatment plants (MEPC 227(64)). It has been fitted to enable the continuous discharge of treated sewage while operating in Marpol Annex IV special areas. “The main feature of this system, which is different from past systems, is the management of the waste water coming from the galleys,” he explained.
“This is the first time that Fincantieri has installed a system of this kind. The challenge was that the system is bigger than usual, so we had to work out the right location for it on the ship. It is installed on deck one, in the fore part of the auxiliary engineroom. In terms of piping it is similar to other systems, but having everything on board means the ship can be operated in special areas continuously, with all the systems running. It does not limit service.”
A freshwater generation capacity of 1,200m³ per 24 hours is achieved through a combination of evaporators and reverse osmosis plants. When the main engines are working the two evaporator units, with a rated capacity of 200m3 every 24 hours, recover the heat that is dissipated from the cooling water contained in the engines’ jackets to produce fresh water, ensuring increased energy efficiency. In addition to this, fresh water is available from the two Case Marine & Industrial reverse osmosis units, each with a capacity of 400m3 per 24 hours.
With regard to HVAC, Mr Checchinato explained that changes had been made for Seabourn Encore. “We introduced a special check for the air-tightness of the HVAC system ducts, to obtain better energy efficiency. Usually ducts lose some air at the junction where they join each other. But here there is no loss of air, so the system is more efficient.”
In the passenger cabins air handling units supply 100 per cent fresh air. These are equipped with enthalpy recovery units which use the energy contained in the exhausted air to treat the incoming outdoor ventilation air, which is distributed through a single, high-velocity type duct. The balance of the heating or cooling load requirement is provided by the fan coil units, installed in the cabin technical space, which supply the fresh and recirculation air.
Mr Checchinato was keen to highlight the fact that when the key-card is removed from the holder in the cabin, the control system adjusts the set point value of 2°C (more in summer and less in winter) to optimise the energy consumption of the system. This function is also implemented for each cabin balcony door by a proximity switch that communicates the door status (open/closed) to the fan coil control units.
The public areas are equipped with a CO2 monitoring control system that adjusts the supply of fresh air according to the number of people within the space. These, too, are fitted with a control function that automatically changes the air set point if the space is unused.
The thermal power of the high temperature cooling system, which provides cooling for the two main generator engines installed in the same engineroom, is transferred to the freshwater generator and to the heat recovery system through the high temperature/heat recovery heat exchangers.
“In this respect, the heat recovery system recovers the thermal power from both the high temperature cooling system – aft and forward – for preheating the HVAC reheating system, and the hot potable water system,” Mr Checchinato explained.
The heat recovery system consists of two high temperature/heat recovery heat exchangers, one circulating pump, one heat recovery/HVAC heat exchanger, one heat recovery/potable water heat exchanger, one expansion tank and one three-way valve for each heat exchanger.
When it comes to evacuation, there are four lifeboat/tenders supplied by Hatecke. These have capacity for 150 persons as lifeboats and 120 as tenders. Each is deployed by telescopic davits operated by hydraulic power packs. There are also two Hatecke life/rescue boats with a capacity of 120 persons and eight davit-launchable liferafts from Viking Life-Saving Equipment, each with capacity for 35. These are operated by four electric telescopic davits, two on each side. Lastly there are eight additional liferafts each with capacity for 35. All the davits are supplied by Navalimpianti. The passenger muster stations are on deck five in the club lounge/casino and on deck six in the show lounge. Crew muster on deck four in the restaurant.
With regard to the bridge, the central console is divided into a forward conning console, where the master has overall control of the propulsion, the thruster, and the navigation equipment, such as radar, ecdis, and the integrated navigation system, and an aft conning console, where the pilot has control of the steering. There are two wing consoles for use during port manoeuvres.
There is a safety centre behind the wheelhouse on deck 10. Mr Checchinato said: “Through the safety management and control system, installed within the safety centre, the safety systems of the vessel – emergency shutdown, fire detection system, CO2, water fog and so on – can be monitored and activated, in order to take prompt action in the event of an emergency.”
Mr Checchinato is no stranger to newbuildings, having worked on Oceania Cruises’ ships at Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente shipyard. When asked about the Seabourn Encore project, he said: “It is a challenging job and my experience is growing all the time. Putting everything together and co-ordinating all the people involved in building the vessel is no easy task. But I am very happy working for Fincantieri. I think project management is the best department, because you can see every single phase of the project as well as staying close to the customer in order to understand the needs of the shipowner and develop the right product for them.
“Seabourn does not have a tradition of newbuilding, but we work together very well. We are now building another vessel for the operator in Genoa – steel-cutting has already started. Seabourn is part of the same group as Princess Cruises and Holland America Line. We know them very well, so it has been a very good experience working with Seabourn.”
||4 x Wärtsilä 12V32 type D, total power 23,040kW
||2 x Fincantieri, total power 3,500kW
||2 x Fincantieri, total power 3,000kW