Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, has become an internet sensation, after video footage of her dramatic ‘stretch’ by 30 metres at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany in 2008 was posted on popular websites for the BBC and ‘Daily Mail’, amongst others. The clip has now been seen and enjoyed by over 350,000 viewers online.
The incredible video footage was captured by production company MK Timelapse, and shows the long process of inserting the 3,500 tonnes, 30-metre mid-section - which took 70 days to complete - condensed into just minutes.
Balmoral was built in 1988 for Royal Cruise Line, and was originally named ‘Crown Odyssey’. The vessel, which now weighs 43,537 GRT and is 218.18m in length, was purchased by Fred. Olsen in 2008, and was given a makeover shortly thereafter, to provide 186 guest cabins, 53 crew cabins and 60 balconies and to create the new smaller, more intimate restaurants of the Spey and Avon, on Deck 10.
In a feat of engineering that defies belief, the ship is cut in half and extended by inserting the new mid-section, which had to match the existing fabric of the ship to absolute precision.
See the incredible footage of Balmoral being stretched:
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