Royal Caribbean Cruise’s Silversea Cruises has announced that it is preparing to receive the new ship Silver Origin from the Dutch shipyard De Hoop.

Silversea Cruises has announced that the shipyard implemented safety procedures, reduced workforce and developed different procedures to overcome the challenges amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ship was under construction when the Netherlands announced a national lockdown on 15 March, four days after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak as a pandemic.

The shipyard is located in Lobith, which is relatively isolated, and De Hoop offered its 250 staff the option to stop working.

For the construction, approximately 200 employees continued work and most of them stayed at the on-site residential facility Barge Rossini.

The professionals at De Hoop underwent sanitary procedures such as daily temperature checks, boosted cleaning procedures in the crew accommodation and on the ship and implemented strict social distancing measures.

The sea trials were conducted between 27 and 29 April off the coast of Goeree-Overflakkee and the trial was considered to be a success.

Due to the travel ban, the subcontractors could not reach the ship and the dynamic positioning acceptance test was carried out remotely with the help of a Russian third party.

De Hoop Shipyard director Fre Drenth said: “This was the first time such an operation has been completed remotely during a sea trial.

“The tuning was successful and took no longer than usual. It demonstrates that it is possible to tune dynamic positioning systems remotely. It could potentially save a lot of travelling time for engineers in the future. I am enormously proud of my team for their work.”

Royal Caribbean Cruises Newbuilds and Site Office NL director Vesa Uuttu said: “We usually have a large team that participates in the sea trials, but this year was different because of the extraordinary situation.

“Hence, a limited team participated, sufficient to comply with regulations. It was a proud moment to see the ship perform as it did, for all involved, especially the team at the De Hoop Shipyard who have worked tirelessly to complete the project in these tough circumstances.”

The final upgrades are currently being installed on the ship before the delivery.