Millennium Slated For NNS Visit
After evaluating several alternatives, Celebrity Cruises has decided to drydock its innovative gas turbine propelled ship, Millennium, this November to perform work on the vessel's stern hull design. Newport News Shipbuilding has reportedly won the contract, as announced at www.marinelink.com on August 31, 2000.
Millennium — featured on the cover of the July 2000 edition of Maritime Reporter — is significant because it is the first ever cruise ship with gas turbine main propulsion. Soon after it entered service, a vibration was detected in certain areas of the ship under certain sea conditions. This vibration has been linked to the design of the stern hull. Shipyard workers will use the drydock period to attach a buffer to the aft section of the hull, which is designed eliminate the vibration. Work is expected to take three weeks. Celebrity officials said that the unscheduled dry dock will necessitate the cancellation of one two-night and three seven-night Caribbean voyages. The company is continuing to review the matter with the ship's builder, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and expects the bulk of any costs associated with the drydock to be covered by the builder.
Celebrity Cruises' president Richard Sasso likened the vibration to squeaky brakes on a new car. "It's not a safety issue and it's not a comfort issue, but, with a brand new ship, you want it fixed as soon as possible," Sasso explained.
Similar modifications will be made on Millennium's sistership, Infinity, while it is still under construction at the shipyard. Known as the next member of the Millennium Class of ships, Infinity is scheduled for a January 2001 delivery.