RCCL: The Safety Leader

-- FROM THE FULL PICTURE MAGAZINE -- We can handle and control a ship entirely within the Kongsberg environment; we think that that will be a huge advantage." – Bill Wright, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean's new Genesis class of vessels say two clear things about the company. First, as the market grows, Royal Caribbean chooses to build cruise vessels with a size and scale that make possible stunning new experiences. Secondly, it equips these vessels with a mind to maintain its reputation as a safety leader.

Safety in every condition

Royal Caribbean prides itself on having very sophisticated navigational procedures and systems."We’ve become very disciplined in marine operations. For example, our officers conduct detailed briefings with the captain before every arrival and departure. It’s part of our company policy of being above and beyond compliance at all times, because we have the world’s most precious cargo," says Bill Wright, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean.Royal Caribbean's close co-operation with Kongsberg on automation systems and dynamic positioning (DP) began ten years ago. Royal Caribbean’s first vessels with fully integrated DP systems were the Voyager class.

"These were the biggest cruise ships the world had seen, and we felt that adding DP would be a huge advantage. We worked together with Kongsberg to convert what had basically been an offshore technology to a system tailor-made for cruise ship operations, and it was a great success for us both," says Wright.

Ongoing co-operation

Wright envisions an equally ambitious co-operation as the Genesis project takes form. "We're delighted that Kongsberg will have all of the automation and ship control functions on these remarkable vessels. This will help streamline the integration of so much of our advanced technology," he says.

For Genesis, Wright is pushing Kongsberg to create seamless systems for transition between various manoeuvring modes, including advanced track-keeping operation and joystick control. The Genesis vessels will also have a separate Safety Centre, with an advanced Safety Management System that will assist the captain and his officers to deal with any onboard situation or emergency.

"We are looking forward to developing this ground-breaking technology with Kongsberg. Their willingness to partner with us to develop new solutions is an advantage," concludes Wright.

Kongsberg onboard Genesis

  • DP/Joystick system (redundant)
  • Remote control system for 3 x podded azimuth propulsion systems and bow thrusters
  • Machinery automation system
  • Air condition automation system
  • Integrated Safety Management System

Bill Wright, Senior Vice President, Marine Operations, Royal Caribbean International

A captain by profession, Wright is one of those sailors who simply loves marine operations. He took the helm of Freedom of the Seas on her maiden voyage, and hopes to return to a sailing position in years to come. He has been Senior Vice President for marine operations at Royal Caribbean since 2005.