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CRUISE & FERRY Into JUL/AUG 11
At the same time, with the extensive rebuilding of two cruise ships for German-speaking cruise brands,the MEIN SCHIFF 2 ("MS2") and ARTANIA, the yard was once again proven to have a huge potential. The main focus was on adapting these older ships to modern requirements, with ehe addition of balconies to outer cabins as the highlight. Lloyd Werft pioneered this innovative refurbishment on COSTA VICTORIA in 2004.
From MERCURY to MEIN SCHIFF 2
The total cost for the conversion was set at EUR 55 million, with half of this sum dedicated to steel and engineering works. The extensive work was carried out on site, together with a number of international partners who were essential to this conversion . Up to 2,000 craftsmen from all over Europe were working temporarily at the same time and in three layers. A !arge body of the crew, consisting of 720 people supported the work throughout. Some of them performed cleaning casks whilst others were assigned fire-prevenrion duties. Fire was a major hazzard during welding operations.
The project was Iead by Sven May, ehe naval architect, who had drafted the so-ca lled "rebuilding scenario" months in advance, based on rhe experience gained during rhe renovation of MS 1.
Time and coordination were of course major challenges."We work in two shifts," said Sven May. "But we will be ready in time." At the time of this interview with CFI, May confidently stated that they were already halfway into the reconstruction project.
Shortly after the arrival of the ship in the immense 335-metre dry dock, welders starred to place the necessary reinforcements for the new balcony holes in the outer steel skin.
Other workers were instructed to add 200 new 4-m2 balconies between Decks 8 and 10, and to convert 202 existing balconies into verandas. Upon complection, the ship has a total of 956 cabins, of which 652 are outer cabins, 427 with balconies or verandas.
Because of rhe insrallation of additional balconies the weight of the ship increased. Therefore a 220-ton so-called ducktail had to be added. This piece of steel was prefabricared by BAT, a Bremen-based company, and mounted onto the stern. This increases the displacement of the surface and creates more lift.
In compliance to new safety regulations a number of outer forward cabins on Decks 5 and 6 needed to be fitted with new exterior windows. Even the bridge was extended by two metres on either side to allow for a better visibility during manoeuvres.
For the new external look, a total of about 30,000 litres of paint and 2,000 m2 of special lettering film were needed. The graphics were installed by, Orca Maritime, the Hamburg-based company. In addition, to transform the MERCURY into a genuine TUI Cruises ship, approximately 40,000 m2 of new carpet was laid, more than 5,000 new pieces of furniture were added, signs in German were placed, the spa was completely refurbished, and all the restaurants and bistros were remodelled.
The enrire air-conditioning system and propulsion equipment were overhauled. A new, light blue silicone anti-fouling coating was introduced.
The relocation of the fitness area from directly above the bridge to one deck higher allowed for a larger spa area.
Restaurants, bistros and bars, such as the Surf & Turf Steak House and the Blaue Welt Bar, were completely rebuilt. The latter is the design highlight on the ship. It extends over three decks and includes a Sushi Bar.
The exterior decks, too, have been transformed with new flooring and furniture, giving it a frech look.
Compared to MS1 the second TUI ship does not have a nudist "FKK" area on Deck 13, or a casino on Deck 7. Instead, MS2 has a Show Bar where passengers can dance with live music. There is a separate Teen Lounge, called "Sturmfrei", on Deck 12, where young cruisers can revel without their parents present.
The MS2 has two new exclusive theme suites. One was designed by lna Muller, a well known North German television presenter. Her design reflects the beach scenes in Northern Germany and the North Sea atmosphere, like that of Sylt in the Frisian Islands. The second theme suite is in the Bauhaus style. Straight lines and dark, shiny colours run through both rooms. While the bedroom is decorated in purple, the living room is in petrol blue. The glittering wallpaper is an eye-catcher.
Much of the interior was designed by Ralf Claussen, a Hamburg-based interior designer, who lived onboard the vessel during the renovation. The design of the 1,700 m2 spa area was Claussen's idea. This was built from scratch on Deck 11. Here the passengers will find outdoor spa rooms and the largest Finnish sauna on a cruise ship with a panoramic view.
From ARTEMIS to ARTANIA
The removal of the old teak wood from the outer decks is worth mentioning. After a period in storage, the wood will be restored and reinstalled on the other Phoenix vessel, the ALBATROS. This will save around EUR 100,000.