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.
by David Hodges, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 4, 2017 2:14 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 5, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Despite slumping passenger car sales, for the first time more than one million new vehicles have been sold in Canada by the midway mark of the year.DesRosiers Automotive Reports says overall car and light truck sales increased five per cent, with 1,039,068 vehicles moving off lots from January through June compared to the same time period last year.The market research firm says auto sales in June also set a new record, with 203,486 vehicles sold, 6.5 per cent more than during the same month a year ago.Like in the past, sales of light trucks led the way in June, rising by 10 per cent year-over-year, and easily offsetting a 0.1 per cent decline in passenger car sales. Year-to-date, passenger car sales were down two per cent while light truck sales were up 8.8 per cent.While this is the strongest start on record for Canada, DesRosiers says a different picture has been forming in the U.S. where new vehicle sales have been down for four consecutive months as of June.“Surpassing 2016 as an all-time record setting year may not be a foregone conclusion should Canada start to follow that trend in the latter half of the year,” the firm said in a release.Increasingly strong signals from the Bank of Canada that rock-bottom interest rates are nearing an end may also play a role in slowing down the furious pace of car sales, says Equifax Canada.“Higher rates may actually lead to a short term blip as dealers and buyers look to take advantage of rates now,” said Bill Johnston, the credit bureau’s vice-president of data and analytics.“(But) over coming months, the cumulative rate hikes will begin to slowdown auto sales as manufacturers will find it more difficult to offer the long-term promo rates.”Michael Hatch, chief economist at the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, says he doesn’t see a rate bump having a huge impact on prospective buyers.“For one thing, any rate increase in the short term is likely to be very small, in the 25-basis point ballpark,” he said, adding that the delinquency rate on auto loans continues to sit at historically low levels.A TransUnion Canada report for the first quarter of 2017 showed that while average auto lending balances rose 2.75 per cent year-over-year, at the same time, serious delinquency rates remained essentially flat at 1.70 per cent.George Iny, president of the Automobile Protection Association, said he expects car makers to continue to keep interest rates low on new vehicles because it makes long-term car loans of seven to eight years more palatable to the public.“It’s a bad loop if they get into it, if they raise rates, because it will then make the long loan unattractive,” he said. “And then people won’t take the vehicle at all.”Follow @DaveHTO on Twitter. Auto sales hit one-million mark by midway point of year for first time