VESSEL REVIEW | Prinses Amalia – High-end event/tour boat for Rotterdam
Dutch builder Shipyard De Hoop has just delivered a day-passenger/event boat for the Rotterdam-based company, Spido.
Founded as a shuttle service for sailors in 1919, Spido is a tour company that mainly organises canal cruises in the port of Rotterdam.
Specifically designed and built for more upmarket events, either standalone or in collaboration with business or political delegations, Prinses Amalia will host activities such as company presentations, theatre shows or music and sport events in the Rotterdam area. The vessel is also suitable for sightseeing tours in the area.
Spido signed the contract for the vessel with Shipyard De Hoop in April 2018 and the keel of the first section was laid on October 16 that same year. De Hoop has already built a number of ships for Spido, including the Marco Polo (1995), Vasco da Gama (1998), and the Abel Tasman (2000).
Recognised for both its interior and exterior styling of large motor yachts, Dutch design studio, Cor D Rover partnered with Shipyard De Hoop and Spido to develop a new water-bound party and event experience, based on the recognisable and trusted Spido look.
The ship has a modern straight axe bow, with an optimised hull shape for better sailing characteristics and fuel saving. The characteristic Spido arc that runs forward from the transom appears to hold a protective hand above the wheelhouse.
All passenger decks are fitted with artificial teak deck and brushed stainless steel railings dressed with petrol-coloured glass. The same colour glass is found all over the ship, in large windows and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, to match the petrol carpet and wood pattern vinyl flooring.
The descending line of the decks to the aft ship is recognisable from the world of mega yacht design. To accentuate the enhanced profile, the outside is illuminated by separately switchable contour lighting.
The interior is characterised by a modern and warm appearance, with the use of high-quality luxury materials such as leather, comfortable carpet and stainless steel.
The vessel has the capacity to seat 122 passengers on the main deck for a dinner setting, whilst the VIP lounge seats 22 guests. Both decks are equally accessible through an internal grand staircase, as well as via the outside decks.
Located amidships on both side at main deck, the entrances feature large glass sliding doors with a gangplank in a dedicated davit installation. Forward on the main deck is a luxury bar and buffet for the culinary experiences prepared by star chefs in the galley below deck.
The buffet platter is on scissor lift below deck to facilitate preparing from the galley. When ready for serving, the buffet will go up to main deck level. The platter and “cage” on the scissor lift are designed to hold and lift heavier items too and as such can also be used by companies for presenting their new products – even small cars or motorbikes.
From the main deck, guests have access to the cloakrooms and spacious toilets via a staircase down. A special toilet for wheelchair users is provided on the main deck, whilst all outside decks are also accessible by stair lift for wheelchair users and disabled guests.
Prinses Amalia was built according the ILENT/NBKB regulations for inland shipping and designed with specific environmentally low-impact features such as solar panels above the foredeck (mooring deck) and in the sides of the top deck and LED-lights.
Shipyard De Hoop has put a lot of effort into decreasing noise and vibrations, the result of which can be seen in floating floors, flexibly mounted equipment and anti-vibration panels in walls and ceilings.
As this vessel is stationed at the Spido jetty near the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, the navigational equipment is placed on a hingeable topmast above the wheelhouse to provide the required air draught of 8.80 metres above the 1.10-metre waterline.
The wheelhouse itself features all required instruments and equipment for navigating the Dutch canals. The on-board CCTV-system is capable of registering what happens on board and around the vessel and storing images on hard disk. Due to the shape and size of the vessel, in combination with the sometimes-restricted manoeuvring spaces, the cameras will also be used for navigating.
In contrast to previous Spido ships, which only have air-handling equipment, this ship has real air-conditioning units. The main AC-unit room to portside on main deck also features provisions to connect a mobile bar unit. For music shows and DJ performances, 380VAC and speaker provisions are made in the technical spaces on the aft deck. These technical spaces also have see-through mirrors on which photos, movies or presentations can be projected from behind.
The two rudder propellers (Z-drives with a double propeller) are diesel-direct driven, while the bow thruster is electrically driven by the generator sets. The main propulsors, as well as the diesel generators, are situated in two aft engine rooms. Both engine rooms are protected from fire by a FirePro system, injecting a FPC solid compound, which transforms into a rapidly expanding fire extinguishing condensed aerosol. Fire extinguishing is accomplished by the interruption of the chemical chain reactions occurring in the flame and not by the depletion of oxygen and/or cooling as suggested by the traditional triangle of fire. The important characteristic of this extinguishing agent is that people can survive in it, in contrast to the traditional CO2- or FM2000-systems.