Furuno's Bridge Systems for Holland America Cruise Ships
The extensive global network of Furuno service centers, subsidiaries and distributors was one of the reasons that Holland America Line (HAL) chose Furuno when it was time to retrofit their cruise ships with the very latest in a fully integrated navigation system.
After considerable research in cruise ship navigation electronics, HAL selected the Furuno bridge solution and engaged Radio Holland to procure and install the equipment, starting with their first ship, the MS Westerdam.
The large bridge features an impressive list of equipment including four Chart Radars (two X-Band and two S-Band), two ECDIS charting systems with Conning displays, an Autopilot, two IMO DGPS receivers, two AIS transmitters, a Track Control System to drive the Azipods and three Remote Sensor Displays. The port and starboard bridge wings are equipped with slave units and monitors so that the Radars, ECDIS and Conning can all be accessed from those stations.
The project was a substantial undertaking, with the removal of old equipment from the bridge, installation of all the new equipment, interfacing everything together and getting it all up and running, while the ship was at dry-dock for one-week. The installation “dream team” was a combination of Radio Holland and Furuno technicians that not only got everything installed and operational, but stayed with the ship when she set sail to get everything dialed-in to the captain’s satisfaction.
In certain countries, there is a requirement for officers to be fully trained under IMO regulations for a general understanding with regard to legislation, and basic operation of an ECDIS. Furuno sent staff onboard the Westerdam to conduct a complete and intensive type specific training course with the bridge officers. A timed exam was given to each candidate to confirm the knowledge gained from the course.
Since the installation, HAL and Furuno have been working together to continuously improve upon the integrated navigation system, making it one of the most advanced cruise ship navigation systems available. Furuno’s dedication to the cruise line has already produced many improvements, including conning enhancements, weather overlay for effective weather routing, ship predictor for maneuvering and berthing the vessel and many more useful features.
Furuno and Radio Holland representatives recently finalized a similar installation on a second HAL cruise ship, the MS Noordam. Currently, it is operating out of Vancouver, BC, where she carries passengers on 7-day journeys through Alaska’s famous inside passage, with stops in Glacier Bay as well as several other ports.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Holland America Line to bring their cruise ships the very latest in integrated navigation systems,” stated Brad Reents, President of Furuno USA, Inc. “We look forward to a long relationship with HAL, providing them with the service and support for which Furuno is well known.”