Radio Holland has successfully completed two major bridge refit contracts on behalf of Holland America Line under very tight deadlines. These bridge retrofits carried out by Radio Holland USA on Holland America Line’s cruise ships Oosterdam and Prinsendam, followed refit work on M/S Noordam and Westerdam in 2014 and 2015.
The bridge refit on board the M/S Oosterdam was concluded in Palermo, Sicily in early May. Then just days later Radio Holland continued with a bridge upgrade project for the M/S Prinsendam, which took place in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Rob van den Hof, Nautical Superintendent of Technical Operations from Holland America Line commented: “Both bridge retrofits for Oosterdam and Prinsendam were highly customized projects which each required their own specific approach. The expertise and project management skills of Radio Holland ensured completion within a limited time frame. Result is a seamless integration with existing systems while providing the additional functionality of the latest Furuno navigation equipment.”
Jamie Futch, Project Engineer, based in Radio Holland’s office in Jacksonville, Florida, said: “Given that these two important Holland America Line projects were so close together, it was a considerable logistical challenge. We made sure we had the same project team on the spot to maximise efficiency and consistency.
Short amount of time
“We had a maximum of two weeks to complete the work as the ships were in drydock. In the case of Prinsendam, passengers were on board so we couldn’t afford even the smallest delay. To ensure the project could run seamlessly, all the Factory Acceptance Tests took place in the US before the equipment was shipped to the yards.”
Radio Holland and Holland America Line’s relationship goes back many years. Radio Holland technicians are very familiar with the Holland America Line vessels due to conducting maintenance on the Nav/Com equipment for many years. “I think this is one reason why Holland America Line chose us. They also know we have a solid project department able to perform these large-scale upgrades in such a short amount of time.”
Scope of work
Radio Holland’s scope of work on the ships comprised system’s integration, engineering, installation, testing and training. The company also provided additional equipment including an upgrade of the auto-pilot interface with the propulsion system’s to deliver fuel savings. The bridge retrofit included: removal of the existing integrated bridge, all antennas and ECDIS computers, as well as design and installation of new console tops including wing consoles to accommodate new Furuno radars, ECDIS (Main and Backup), EMRI designed Furuno Autopilot with two controlling heads with track control, EMRI AZIPOD propulsion interface, Satellite Speed Log, two AIS and two GPS systems.
The scope of work for the Prinsendam, which is an older ship, was more extensive. Here, Radio Holland modified the bridge layout so it is in line with that of the Vista Class ships, which included moving equipment and installing an echo sounder and speed log. Additionally, Radio Holland carried out an extensive cable ‘clean up’ and modernization, removing some 250 redundant cables. This makes serviceability much easier. The bridge layout was also changed to accommodate a pilot station so the pilot can have their own radar on board and Radio Holland created an ‘Officer on Duty’ position, whereby the officer can oversee the entire bridge.
Radio Holland also organized an extensive training. “It was really useful for the crew to physically get their hands on the equipment and learn about the new systems before the ship left drydock. Meanwhile, Radio Holland USA has recently moved to a larger office in Jacksonville which enables us to conduct our own FAT testing for projects of this magnitude. We can now do everything in-house, set up the entire bridge layout for any type of vessel. Everything is fully tested before it is shipped for installation on board.”
Fergus Campbell, Managing Director of Radio Holland USA: “We are continuing refit work for Holland America Line. Next refit work is already planned on board the Westerdam, a second upgrade, including extra equipment. This upgrade is to bring Westerdam into the same specification as the Noordam and Oosterdam. The Westerdam was the first ship we refitted and as things progressed more equipment was added to the Noordam and Oosterdam. Radio Holland was also awarded a 16-ship maintenance agreement in 2015, so we are proud to keep the equipment on board the HAL vessels up & running 24/7”.