The lengthening of a pair of Grimaldi Group cruise ferries by Fincantieri’s shipyard in Palermo, Italy, earlier this year was accomplished via heavy-lift equipment and expertise by Stafford, U.K.-based ALE.
Grimaldi's ferries (sisterships) Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona operate on the Civitavecchia-Barcelona route and the lengthening provided both with increased capacity.
The ALE company used its skidding and transportation expertise to install brand new sections and lengthen each ship by 30 meters, taking them to around 255 meters once completed. As both vessels were similar, the manoeuvres could be carried out using the same heavy-lifting procedure.
In each case, the middle section, measuring 30 meters long and weighing 2,540 tons, was transported from an assembly area within the yard. The skid shoes were installed in 3 slip lines, a central one and two lateral. The bow section, measuring 225 meters long and weighing 10,500 tons, was then skidded 45 meters. The intermediate section was afterwards transported to a final position to be joined with the aft. Finally, the bow was skidded to join the new section.
Following the lengthening, each ferry now boasts 600 additional lanemeters for heavy vehicles, two new public spaces, and capacity for an extra eighty sleeping berths in new passenger cabins.