Key port: Passengers from the Norwegian Star at Dockyard yesterday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Key port: Passengers from the Norwegian Star at Dockyard yesterday. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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FRIDAY, JUNE 15: Norwegian Cruise Lines boss, Kevin Sheehan, says he has no concerns that the Breakaway will be able to negotiate shallower stretches of Bermuda’s North Channels in high winds.

The CEO told the Bermuda Sun the firm’s newest and biggest ship would have no problems sailing into Dockyard, even in severe weather.

His comments follow a government commissioned survey of Bermuda’s shipping channels last year that revealed several ‘high spots’ in the North Channel.

The study also looked into the possibility of dredging and straightening sections of the channel to accommodate larger cruise ships like the Breakaway.

But Mr Sheehan said: “In extreme weather conditions the safety of the crew and guests is paramount.

“That is all in the hands of our captains who have over 30 years of experience. They would never put our passengers or crews at risk.I have no concerns that the Breakaway will be able to make it in to Dockyard safely next year.

“With all the technological equipment and sophisticated systems in place on board the ship, when they are used correctly it will not be a significant issue.”

In this year’s budget announcement former Transport Minister Derrick Burgess stated that one of the initiatives for the 2012/13 financial year would be to “Finalize channel development work to ensure that ships transiting the North Channel are able to do so with sufficient margin of safety.”

But government has confirmed that no dredging will need to take place in order for the Breakaway to sail into the island.

A statement from the Ministry of Transport said: “No channel dredging work is required
“Because of the increased length of this ship (compared to existing ship designs calling at Bermuda) the resulting overhang of the bow when alongside will require that additional bollards be constructed to the north of the existing Heritage Wharf facility in order to safely moor the ship alongside in all weather conditions;

“An engineering assessment is presently being conducted by PWD Engineers with a view to work being commenced in the latter half of 2012.”