A group of Spanish companies led by naval architecture firm Oliver Design has begun converting a Turkish ferry into a luxury river cruise ship for an operator in the UK.
The refurbished vessel will be used by London-based Magna Carta Steamship Company for week-long cruises through Scotland’s Caledonia Canal connecting the famed Loch Ness to the Hebrides archipelago.
The 2012-built, 42- by 9.3-metre Necdet Ali Yildirim arrived in Vigo, Spain, on Sunday, October 21, to undergo conversion work expected to last 12 months.
The vessel will be renamed Lord of the Highlands following the conversion.
Oliver Design and Insenaval will handle the technical aspects of the redesign including the vessel’s new structure and safety and stability features while Armada Shipyards, Gestido Workshops, Solem, Protecnavi, and Carpinautic will perform the remainder of the conversion work including fitting out of the vessel.
Changes to Necdet Ali Yildirim will include: space to accommodate 50 passengers and a crew of 17; a new steel bow; increases of two and one metre in length and in width, respectively; incorporation of the necessary furniture and interior design elements in the cabins, suites, and balconies; and installation of new rails, windows, hatches, and skylights.
Lord of the Highlands is Oliver Design’s second vessel conversion project for Magna Carta Steamship. Lord of the Glens, which entered service with Magna Carta in 2000, is a conversion of a 1985-built ferry.
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