World Maritime News Staff; Gallery: Damen zoom Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen (DSV) has completed refurbishment of cruise ships Astor and Marco Polo, both operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages. The vessels have been at DSV for a wide-ranging programme of work, scheduled and unscheduled, Damen said. Astor, featuring passenger capacity of just over 600 travellers, arrived at DSV on 17 October. Whilst in port she underwent a DNV GL Class Survey as Damen carried out diverse tasks.The scheduled maintenance included high-pressure washing and painting of the underwater part of the vessel, overhaul of overboard valves, hull anode renewal, maintenance and recertification of lifeboats, gangway repairs and certification and renewal of ducting and ventilators from engine room air-supply. Peter Sterkenburg, Head of Sales & Marketing at Damen Shiprepair & Conversion, said: “The work on the Astor was not without its challenges – the sheer diversity of the tasks we performed ensured that. The logistics were perhaps the greatest consideration – we had to manage this extensive scope, alongside a class survey, whilst 140 of the vessel’s crew remained on board throughout. I’m pleased to say we did everything according to plan and all work was completed in time for Astor to sail on 4 November.” The 176.25 metre ship sailed from Vlissingen to Tilbury in the UK where she collected the remainder of her crew and passengers for a voyage to Australia.Only days later, on 11 November, Marco Polo arrived in Vlissingen. The vessel, though similarly sized to Astor, accommodates up to 800 passengers.Marco Polo was scheduled for a class survey and similar scope of maintenance to Astor. However, a recent grounding in Norway added an extra dimension to the project. Mr Sterkenburg said:“The grounding caused some minor steel damage to the flat bottom of the vessel, so we’ve had to factor that into the planning on top of the scheduled work and class survey. Naturally, this has made the work more challenging, but we are used to this kind of project and to reacting quickly when something changes. Everything went according to plan.”Marco Polo, having left DSV on 11 December, collected her passengers in the Amsterdan, Antwerp and Tilburg and sailed on to Brazil and the Amazon.
“Holocaust denial is anti-Semitism. It wounds the people who suffer the most – the survivors,” said Kiyo Akasaka, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, in a message to the International Conference on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Denial in Dublin.“It extends this hurt to every Jewish person, as a heartless reminder of the unspeakable cruelty and the ruthless attempt to eliminate every member of their families,” Mr. Akasaka told the conference, which is co-sponsored by the UN Department of Public Information and Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, with the support of the Government of Ireland and other partners.The UN has called for the rejection of the denial of the Holocaust, in full or in part, through resolutions adopted by the 192-member General Assembly.Mr. Akasaka encouraged participants attending the two-day event to make efforts to dispel the myths associated with anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and to fight discrimination.“We have not fully understood that discrimination against people anywhere hurts people everywhere. Minorities of all kinds continue to be persecuted and murdered. And too often, we have been indifferent,” he added.Through its ‘Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme,’ the UN helps to ensure that people everywhere are better educated about the events that led to the Holocaust in order to help prevent genocide in the future. 18 November 2010In continuing efforts to ensure that the crime of genocide does not occur again, the United Nations today co-sponsored a conference in Ireland to discuss both the historical and contemporary contexts of anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial.