Royal Caribbean’s Silversea Cruises launched the Silver Origin cruise vessel including innovative sea trials followed by remote operations and challenges that the shipyard had to overcome due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cruise line comments that the vessel was stil under construction on March 15, 2020, four days after the COVID-19 declaration as a global pandemic. In the meantime, the Netherlands declared a national lockdown, where the vessel was being constructed at De Hoop shipyard.
The vessel’s trials were conducted from Aprill 27 to 29 off the coast of Goeree-Overflakkee, Silver Origin’s sea trials were a great success, offering the Captain the chance to put the ship through its paces and enabling the shipyard to demonstrate proper operation of the machinery systems.
Due to the travel ban, Silver Origin’s sea trials included a notable world-first: during the dynamic positioning (DP) acceptance test—which tests the ship’s ability to remain within 10cm of a fixed point without dropping anchor—the ship’s DP system was remotely tuned and calibrated by a third party in St. Petersburg, Russia—more than 1,800 kilometers away.
In addition, a fast internet connection was set up on board to enable near-instant communication between both parties and, using a headset and a camera, an operative from St. Petersburg completed manoeuvring tests. The ship’s Captain, meanwhile, acted as his lookout from on board.