Vlissingen is a port city located on the former Walcheren island in Zeeland province (southwestern Netherlands), with population around 45,000. Due to its strategic location between the North Sea and Scheldt River, Vlissingen has been a major harbor town for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. During the 17th century, it was a principal port for ships of Dutch East India Company (VOC). The nearest river cruise port is Middelburg - approx 7 km (4 mi) to the north. Zeeland province also includes the former islands Noord-Beveland, Zuid-Beveland and Walcheren.
Vlissingen is noted for the shipyards on Scheldt River, where most of the Royal Dutch Navy vessels (Koninklijke Marine) are built. Town's history is marked by invasions and bombardments. Due to its strategic position at the mouth of River Schelde (primary waterway to Antwerp Belgium), it attracted the interest of Britain, France, Germany and Spain. Floods have been a constant threat. The town declined in the 18th century. Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) were also disastrous. After 1870, the city's economy revived after the construction of Walcheren Canal (connecting Westerschelde and Oosterschelde), new docks, railway, De Schelde Shipyard.
WW2 91939-1945) interrupted the growth as the city was damaged by inundation and shelling. After the war, the city was completely rebuilt. During the 1960s, its industrial zone (Vlissingen-Oost) and the seaport were developed. Today this area generates thousands of local jobs. Annually, around 50,000 ships pass through Schelde. Regularly scheduled daily ferries connect Vlissingen with Breskens.
Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen
Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen is a shipyard located near the North Sea (approx 10 km / 6 mi) from the yeard.. The facility is directly and easily accessible (entrance width is 500 m / 1640 ft) at any tide level.
Damen shipyard in Vlissingen has 3 fully equipped dry docks (1 covered, 1 open, 1 floating dock) and 3 quays. The facility is served by 150 highly skilled workers. As services, at the shipyard can be done vessel conversions, repairs, maintenance works, metal construction works, propulsion systems, hydraulics, electrical systems, piping, The Vlissingen shipyard is unique for allowing docking of LNG tanker ships in a non-gas-free condition.
Damen Vlissingen shipyard has the following facilities:
- Berth 1 (length 440 m, max draft 8 m) is served by 3 cranes (55-ton, 32-ton, 27-ton).
- Berth 2 (length 150 m, max draft 10,5 m) is served by 1 crane (40-ton).
- Berth 3 (length 335 m, max draft 8 m) is served by 2 cranes (18-ton, 30-ton).
- The Covered DryDock (length 215 m, width 30 m, max draft 8,7 m) is served by 4 cranes (75-ton each).
- The Floating Dock (length 229 m, width 36 m, max draft 7 m) is served by 3 cranes (12-ton, 12-ton, 40-ton).
- The Open Dry Dock (length 175 m, width 25 m, max draft 7,7 m) is served by 3 cranes (27-ton, 32-ton, 55-ton).
The types of marine vessels serviced here include offshore, dredgers, container ships, LNG tankers, subsea support vessels, bulk carriers, fishing trawlers, warships, ferries, cruise ships. Among the cruise vessels recently refurbished by Damen Vlissingen are the CMV ships Astor (in 2014), and Marco Polo (December 2015). The recent list of ferry ships refurbished here includes the DFDS Seaways ferries Dunkerque Seaways, Delft Seaways, and Dover Seaways (all 3 in January 2015), the P&O ferries Spirit of Britain and Spirit of France (both in January 2016).