Adventures with MissionEase

If cruise ship orders have been the icing covering an otherwise uninspiring orderbook cake, then expedition ship orders have surely been the cherry on top. More than 20 ‘adventure’ cruise ships or yachts were reckoned to be on order at the end of 2017.

Expedition cruisers may be topping up calories at a shipboard bistro or burning them off in a gym, yoga room, sauna or Jacuzzi, but the ship’s ‘entertainment’ largely revolves around getting up-close-and-personal with the wilderness. While the view from the observation decks can be stunning, that only happens when the cruiser disembarks and boards the RIBs, dinghies, kayaks, Zodiacs and waterjets with which expedition cruise ships are generally brimming.

Vestdavit TSB-2500 davits

Mostly, passengers step onto these ‘daughter’ craft from ship staircases, but getting these vessels onto the water in the first place is another matter. A typical solution from Vestdavit is to be found on the Lindblad expedition vessel Quest, where Vestdavit TSB-2500 davits deploy and recover Zodiacs and kayaks astern.

However, Vestdavit’s super-efficient MissionEase multiple-boat handling system  for hangars and mission bays adds a new option to the expedition ship mix, and it was certainly one which had visitors beating a path to the Vestdavit stand at Nor-Shipping 2017.

Mission bay

Where conventional multi-boat handling solutions on deck use deck cranes or overhead gantry cranes to transfer boats to a waiting davit for launch, MissionEase turns conventional thinking on its head: it locates the boat transfer system in the floor of the mission bay. Here, a multi-boat cradle system transfers boats from their stored position at the rear of the mission bay to a transverse rail connecting to the maintenance, preparation or launch areas, while the patented feeding system links seamlessly with dual or single-point davits on either side of the vessel.

First delivered to an offshore customer at the end of 2016, MissionEase is equally at home in the luxury passenger vessel setting, where it can stow, launch and retrieve up to 24 ribs (typically of 7-8m in length), kayaks, waterjets and similar equipment.

Norwegian shipbuilders have had significant successes in replacing their offshore vessel construction business by attracting expedition ship orders during 2017. It is also interesting to note that several of the polar cruise ship designs to emerge have featured hull shapes familiar in the offshore support vessel market.

MissionEase delivers the type of stable, dry environment that owners and operators of expedition cruise ships will surely value.

For further information please contact our Development Director/Naval Architect Atle Kalve