“We have commissioned a new, innovative multi- functional ship. It is equipped with cutingedge event and drive technology as well as high-quality equipment that does not feature
in any other KD ship to date. It will therefore be perfect for spectacular events, conferences, party and pleasure cruises,” announces KD CEO Dr. Achim Schloemer. The youngest
member of the fleet is due to be ready on 1st May 2020. The ship, which has not yet been named, is the first new-build since 2011 and will become another milestone in the history of the KD. It was in 2011 that the MS RheinFantasie went into operation, seven years after MS RheinEnergie. As with these large event ships, the KD is again relying on the experience and expertise of partnerships that have proved successful in the past. These partnerships include above all the Dutch shipyard De Hoop, the company Schiffstechnik Buchloh based in Bruchhausen in Rhineland-Palatinate and the yacht designer René van der Velden.
Building a ship like this is an extremely complex undertaking. On the basis of detailed plans, calculations and coordination, the most important building blocks of the ship are created in parallel at different locations. Like its predecessors, the new KD luxury liner is a one-of-a-kind product, not an off-the-shelf ship. The respective companies and specialists are working together like a carefully coordinated gear train. Before the individual wheels were set in motion, representatives of the Köln-Düsseldorfer Deutsche Rheinschiffahrt GmbH and the shipbuilding company “Shipyard De Hoop” met in mid- May at the shipyard in Lobith in the Dutch province of Gelderland. Together, they clarified the final details and fine-tuned the general construction plan. The two KD managing directors Dr. Achim Schloemer (Chairman) and Thomas Günther as well as De Hoop boss Patrick Janssens had already signed the contract
for the construction of the ship at the beginning of March.
In an extremely relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, the delegation from Cologne chose the paint and material for the fl oors and walls, among other things. With the experienced yacht
designer René van der Velden, the team has a real professional on-board who knows exactly what is important. He reminded us that the colour scheme needs to be well thought out. “This also applies to the upholstery of the chairs. The exterior and interior designs must harmonise with each other. You are getting a stateof- the-art ship.” Elements such as lighting concepts, the wall design of the bars, the impressive stage and the furnishing of the lobby, as well as final adjustments to the architecture and interior design, were discussed. Fré Drenth, Technical Director at De Hoop, encouraged the customers to: “Say what you don’t like, what you want to change. Now is the time.” Th ere are many things where time is of the essence. “We have to keep an eye on delivery times and now order things quickly,” said Patrick Janssens, quite rightly pointing out the tight timing. One of the largest and most important items is probably the glass for the huge panorama windows. “The glass manufacturers across Europe have a lot to do. We can’t afford to lose any time here.”
This generally applies to the entire project. Furniture, counters, stages and the wheelhouse are being built and cold stores, kitchen equipment, sanitary facilities, stairs, lifts and drive technology are ordered – to name just a few of the important things. And above all, the hull is being built. This is taking place at the NMC shipyard in Nieuw-Lekkerland, about 20 kilometres from Rotterdam. From mid-June, individual parts made of steel or light metal sheeting will be cut out here and assembled into so-called sections. These, in turn, will be welded together during final assembly. Schloemer and his team are looking towards the beginning of December with great anticipation. That’s when the finished hull is due to go into the water and be transported to De Hoop Werft in Lobith. “The hull will be towed. It doesn’t have its own propulsion yet,” Fré Drenth explained. At that point, the hull will also be quite empty. This will change abruptly. The entire ship and other technology, interior equipment, kitchen equipment, cabins for the crew as well as the engines and windows will be installed at De Hoop. And not to forget: The sleek event liner will of course also be treated to lashings of paint inside and out.
“We’re really looking forward to this newly built ship. With its modern equipment, we will be able to offer further spectacular events on-board that have never been seen before. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ship of superlatives became the hottest event location in the whole region within a very short space of time”, says Dr. Achim Schloemer. The event ship is due to be used above all in Düsseldorf alongside the MS Rhein- Poesie and MS RheinKrone, further strengthening the KD’s offer in the state capital. For this, the KD has already invested in new landing bridges and modern shore-side power supply this year. “The investments in infrastructure alone amount to 3 million euros. We estimate that the new event ship will cost around 13 million euros,” reports KD Managing Director Thomas Günther, who is responsible for finances.
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