05/13/2015 Tense night job for Gertzen – Liebherr mobile cranes fit out luxury liner at Papenburger Meyer shipyard

  • Two Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 mobile cranes complete giant cruise ship
  • Funnel casing and viewing gondola installed using tandem hoists
  • "Anthem of the Seas" is the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany measuring 348 metres in length

At the end of February in North Germany the "Anthem of the Seas", the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany was moved out of the massive Hall 2 dock at Papenburger Meyer shipyard. It was only possible to install the funnel casing and "North Star" viewing gondola outdoors due to the sheer size of the vessel. The order for this work was awarded to Gertzen, based in nearby Kluse, which completed the job smoothly using two 750-tonne mobile cranes. Gertzen used the Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 from its own fleet and an LTM 1750-9.1 hired from Thömen.

Slow motion from the shipbuilding dock – tugs manoeuvre the new luxury liner out of the dock.

Slow motion from the shipbuilding dock – tugs manoeuvre the new luxury liner out of the dock.

The boom in demand for cruises shows no sign of waning which has led to new ships being built at an unprecedented rate. That in turn means that the largest covered shipbuilding dock in the world at Papenburger Meyer, measuring 504 metres long and 75 metres high, is no longer big enough for installing the casings on the funnels of modern luxury liners.

This job was done by two Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 mobile cranes at the fitting-out quay operated by the shipbuilding yard after the liner had been moved out of the dock. Strong gusts of wind initially delayed the extremely tight schedule. The giant of the seas, measuring 350 metres in length, had to be pulled by powerful tugs against the wind after it had left its shipbuilding dock. The long-winded manoeuvring of the new vessel was watched by hundreds of spectators from the edge of the shipbuilding yard's site and lasted well into the night.

Fingertip precision even at three in the morning – the two crane drivers carefully thread the funnel casing between the luffing jibs.

Fingertip precision even at three in the morning – the two crane drivers carefully thread the funnel casing between the luffing jibs.

At around three in the morning the Gertzen team finally managed to secure the cross beam to the massive funnel casing. After raising it from the ground, the crane drivers had to thread the 26 metre long and 18 metre high construction extremely carefully through the luffing jibs before finally swinging the load over the cruise ship. With a radius of 34 metres, the 42-tonne casing was placed over the funnel from a hook height of 74 metres.

On the next day the "North Star" viewing gondola was a much heavier load altogether. The attraction comprising a crane arm and a gondola which enables passengers to be hoisted to a height of 90 metres above sea level weighs in at 110 tonnes. The Gertzen mobile crane had to handle the larger load of 65 tonnes and was therefore also fitted with telescopic guying to increase its load capacity.

The "Anthem of the Seas" has been sailing under the flag of a US cruise company since the end of April. It can accommodate 4,180 passengers and is manned by a crew of 1,550.