Here are pictures from our visit to the lifeboat and tender manufacturer Hatecke in Germany, near Hamburg.
Due to fact that the Nieuw Amsterdam will get a different brand of lifeboat and tenders than we have on Eurodam and boats Holland America line has no experience with, regular visit are necessary to check the production of the lifeboats and tenders.
The first production model of the lifeboat was thoroughly inspected and the several remarks will be corrected by the boat manufacturer before the remaining boats will go into production.
Furthermore, this boat manufacturer has never built a tender as operated by Holland America Line and therefore the tender boats are being designed from scratch. Tenders are used to shuttle our guests between the ship and shore while the ship is at anchor in port, and we try to provide as much comfort as possible to our guests while doing this.
However the tenders still double as lifeboats and therefore several compromises will have to made to comply with the life boat function. In order to make sure that the embarking and disembarking of our guests is as comfortable and safe as possible, a wooden mock up of the canopy is being built in order to test these functions.
Also tested is the safe function of the wheelchair lift in case physically challenged guests are transported.
Our experienced Chief Officer Jacco Terstall attended this visit together with our new building team and the Fincantieri ship yard. Several follow-up visits will have be made to this manufacturing plant to follow the production, and the final test will be a trial in the water with a fully loaded boat.