Queen Mary 2: CCL Photo Atrributed to 'Clicgauche'
Cunard cruise ship Queen Mary 2 suddenly lost power to all four propulsion pods for about an hour due to an engine room explosion as she neared Barcelona in the early hours of an Autumn morning last year. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but last week the U.K Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a meticulous technical report on the accident, granting that, ‘Losing control of a large cruise liner due to an electrical blackout, with 3,823 people on board, is a serious concern.’ A short account of what went wrong follows.Cause of the ExplosionBackground is that the QM 2's CODLAG (Combined Diesel Electric And Gas Turbine) propulsion system with its variable speed AC electric motors constitute a major source of harmonic distortion to electricity supply (the change in the waveform of the supply voltage from the ideal sinusoidal wave-form) which unless corrected has a deleterious effect on other electrical components in... [More]
Cruise ship Nordlys on a regular Hurtigruten scenic Norwegian coastal passage from Bergen to far-North Kirkenes with 262 passengers and crew on board, reported fire in the engine room last Thursday morning, 15, September not far (fortunately) from scheduled first port of call Ålesund, Norway, where she limped in to dock with smoke billowing from the funnel.
Cruise Ship Nordlys About to Enter Ålesund: Photo credit – Olav Helge Matvik/Norwegian Coastal Administration
Olav Fjell CEO of Hurtigruten described the fire as a tragedy (the chief engineer and a young assistant engineer were killed and a dozen or so injured). Which clearly it was, although had this major fire occurred later in the voyage, say with the ship beyond North Cape, a far greater disaster might have ensued. At all events, the fire raged on dockside in Ålesund until it was extinguished mid-afternoon, leaving the flooded hull with a threatening 22 degree list and shore pumps workin... [More]
Cruise ship Mount Washington, resumes service this month after her annual winter lay-up in frozen Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, but this season the old lady will be powered by a pair of newly installed forward-looking Caterpillar C32 ACERT marine diesel engines when she leaves home port Weirs Beach. Mount Washington – PropulsionThe majestic Mount Washington, launched way back in the early days of WWll is of 230 ft LOA (lengthened by 24 feet in 1982) with a 1250 passenger-capacity for daily excursion cruises to five different ports of call around the picturesque, unspoiled lake. She was originally propelled (until stripped of machinery appropriated by the U.S, Government for war use) by two Herreshoff Manufacturing Corporation 3-cylinder triple-expansion engines powered by steam from oil-fired water-tube boilers.
Subsequently, in 1946, a re-engined Mount Washington was served reliably for an incredible 64 years (itself a tribute to the engine builders) by a pair of 8-cylinde... [More]
Hapag Lloyd displayed solid confidence in the growth of the European-based cruise business, when they recently announced the order of a new luxury cruise liner, Europa 2, from the STX France shipyard. They chose Rolls Royce engineered 'Mermaid' pod propulsion (in consortium with power conversion specialists Converteam) to propel (and steer) the new cruise liner, despite widely publicised problems with Mermaid in ships of Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines during the past year. Mermaid Pods – Difficulties Overcome?With the increasing popularity of diesel- electric configurations as the means of propulsion for many large cruise liners, the Mermaid pod system serves both as propulsor and rudder, with an integrated electric motor directly coupled, without any gearing, to a relatively short propellor shaft; all contained within the hydrodynamically streamlined pod housing.
Mermaid Pod: Schematic courtesy of RR
Difficulties with Mermaid have occurred in the past year o... [More]