August 24, 2012

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth Tests A Revolutionary Floating Pier in Skjolden

When we visited the beautiful town of Skjolden deep inside the Norway Fjords last month, there were a few interesting things showing this tiny town of just 250 inhabitants is looking to get more cruise ships visiting.

Not only is Skjolden a staggering 130 miles inland, it also only build a permanent dock area for cruise ships in 2010. 

When we visited they were putting the finishing touches to a new and very interesting innovation called the Seawalk. 

The Seawalk is a floating and motorised pier that could be extended and moved around to allow ships to dock.

This pier and walkway is called the "Seawalk" and was tested by Cunard and Queen Elizabeth ship since to great success. SeaWalk was designed by a Norwegian company.

This clever walkway means that the ship can dock very close to the main part of the village. The SeaWalk is manoeuvred into position and passengers can then walk into town. The pier can be withdrawn back to the shore if desired. 

It is seen as a major innovation for ports with limited space to build a full pier, or the resources and costs of full built piers.

Seatrade Insider (link below) reports that: "The technology was invented by Asbjørn Nes, a partner in SeaWalk along with Ole Heggheim and Arthur Kordt, md of European Cruise Service and a shareholder in Cruise Norway. The naval architect is Kai Levander, whose work includes Oasis of the Seas, and engineering design was provided by Turku-based Elomatic. The fabricator is LMI, a firm located near Skjolden."

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