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Cruise News - Maritime News

Turkish ferry to be converted to a Luxury Cruise Ship for British Magna Carta Steamship Ltd., commencing cruises next year Scotland‘s West Coast and Caledonian Canal.

OLIVER DESIGN, a spanish company specializing in design and naval architecture, has just signed a contract with the British Magna Carta Steamship to remodel a Turkish  ferry and convert it into a luxury cruise, specially designed for the tourism on the coast and the lakes of Scotland.

The Spanish company had already developed a similar project for the same client in 2000, which has enabled a unique tourist route, connecting the famous Loch Ness with the Hebridean Islands through the historic Canal de Caledonia. The contract, signed in September under the modality turnkey, has involved the transfer of the ferry "Necdet Ali Yildirim" (which until now connected the Turkish port of Cesme with the Greek island of Chios) to the Port of Vigo, where it arrived on October 22.

Within a year, a passenger ferry with two decks covering a short distance of just seven kilometers will become a luxury boat capable of accommodating 50 passengers on its four decks, and complete cruises of up to a week. The ship (of 42 meters in length by 9 of beam and 398 GT) will be renamed "Lord of the Highlands", and its new destination will require a radical transformation in its design, including an extension of dimensions in length and beam, the construction of an additional deck and a complete reform of its interior to accommodate 50 passengers and 17 crew.

 OLIVER DESIGN has been responsible, together with the Insenaval engineering, for the technical aspects of the re-design, including the plans for the new structure and the configuration of the solutions in terms of stability and safety.

In addition to the necessary certifications according to the international maritime regulations required by the new configuration of the ship, for its certification by Bureau Veritas and the British agency MCA. The Spanish firm will also be responsible for providing the "Lord of the Highlands" with electrical installations, pipes, HVAC (air conditioning), tanks, fire prevention measures and other services.

To carry out this complex task of reconversion of the ship, OLIVER DESIGN will lead as project manager its planning and execution. Part of the work will be carried out afloat on a wharf of the port authority of Vigo and, for the works of dry dock, will have the collaboration of Astilleros Armada. The adaptation of the boat to its new use implies a great complexity.

The need to provide spaces and services that previously did not exist (restaurant, bar area and lounge, cabins for passengers and crew, kitchen, etc.), means that the "Lord of the Highlands" will require additional stability that will be achieved by expanding the beam one meter and giving it a new steel bow that will increase the length by two meters, as well as more height above the waterline.

OLIVER DESIGN will take care of all the interior design and decoration, according to the standards of a luxury cruise. This includes distributing new cabins and suites with balconies, as well as cabins for the crew, and providing all spaces with furniture, decorative elements, audio and video equipment and other accessories. On the outside, the ship will also require the installation of new rails, new windows, skylights, hatches, as well as a folding mast on the bridge. The background of the "Lord of the Glens" This contract with Magna Carta Steamship Ltd. Has a precedent in the work that the Spanish firm carried out with this same client in the year 2000. In that case, it was also remodeling a ferry built in 1985 that operated in the Aegean on a small-format cruise intended for tourism in Scotland.

The "Lord of the Glens" has 46 meters in length by 10 of beam and 729 GRT, and has four decks and a capacity for 54 passengers and 20 crew. In addition to this first reconversion, OLIVER DESIGN took care of its rehabilitation and refurbishing in 2015.

The "Lord of the Glens" - like the "Lord of the Highlands" when it enters service - has allowed Magna Carta to enable routes unique tourist destinations, lasting several days, between the North Sea and the Hebrides, through the famous Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal, a unique engineering work dating from the beginning of the 19th century, and one the east and west coasts.

West of Scotland taking advantage of the geological fault that crosses the Scottish highlands, and that includes the famous Loch Ness. The Canal is one of the great tourist attractions of the Scottish Highlands, and connects the towns of Inverness and Fort William along 97 kilometers, of which a third correspond to a construction begun in 1803 and completed in 1822.

Until 2004, the small dimensions of the 29 locks that the channel includes only allowed the passage of small pleasure boats. With the authorization of the "Lord of the Glens" and the entry into service of its sister ship "Lord of the Highlands" from 2019, Magna Carta is the first tour operator to launch a cruise through this historic route , the first maritime connection between two areas of great tourist attraction such as, on the one hand, Loch Ness and its connection to the North Sea, and on the other the Scottish west coast and the Hebrides (Mull, Iona, Skye, among others) ).

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