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Smyril Line Ferry Investment Reflects Cabin Trends

Smyril Line’s €13 million investment in a major retrofit of the NORRÖNA is almost complete.

Having arrived at Fayard Ship Repair Yard in Munkebo just before Christmas, the ship has received new and more luxurious facilities.

An artists impression of NORRÖNA after her extensive refit in Denmark. Image: Smyril Line.
An artists impression of NORRÖNA after her extensive refit in Denmark. Image: Smyril Line.

The investment is said to be a result of passengers demanding higher levels of comfort on the Smyril Line service from the Faroe Islands to Iceland and Denmark.

More Luxury Cabins

The 2003-built NORRÖNA has had 50 new luxury cabins added. This was achieved by moving crew cabins to a different location and removing “shared cabins”.

Hauschildt Marine, long-standing partners and naval architects of Smyril Line, joined the project at the idea phase in 2019. Hauschildt facilitated the development of ideas and were responsible for the design process, which was based on an accurate 3D model of the ship. Cita Marine, which has also been working on the STENA SCANDICA project, has supplied new furniture for NORRÖNA.

Jóhan av Reyni, Maritime Director at Smyril Line said;

“There were several different parameters that could have developed into obstacles, including whether the ship could carry more weight, but it turned out to be an extremely interesting retrofit.”

Despite the Covid-19 Pandemic Smyril pressed ahead with the project;

“It seemed hopeless at first, but we discussed it and chose to move forward because the Covid crisis is going to pass at some point,” says Jóhan av Reyni.

The designer, Hauschildt Marine, was involved throughout the project – including in the time-compressed phase, where the NORRÖNA ferry was docked at shipyard partner Fayard in Denmark.

Among other things, this meant weekly co-ordination meetings from 1 September 2020. Jóhan av Reyni points to a successful process which has meant that the project did not undergo any delays

“When you start, it is crucial to have confidence in the collaborator. That’s why we dared to start the process, which has required a tremendous amount of planning,”

The Top Deck of the ship has been entirely re-dimensioned. A new outdoors Skybar and a new lounge area around the funnel with large panoramic views has been added.

Changed Customer Behaviour

Smyril Line says that the retrofit is a consequence of consumer behaviour changing over time.

According to Smyril Line, passengers are now reluctant to buy a berth in a shared cabin, and sales have almost disappeared. In contrast, NORRÖNA’S 12 luxury cabins are often sold out. Jóhan av Reyni says:

“We have gradually got more comfortable cabins, and there is no doubt that the new 50 cabins will be highly sought-after.”

The new-look NORRÖNA will set sail for Hirtshals on 1 March, where the ship will resume its North Atlantic route from 6 March. She sails on a route taking in Hirtshals (Denmark). Tórshavn (Faroe Islands) and Seyðisfjørður (Iceland). Until 2008, she also called at Scrabster (Shetland) during summer months.

NORRÖNA was originally delivered in 2003 by Flender Werft to a design by Knud E Hansen, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft.

Gary Andrews

Experienced Maritime Professional, a specialist in ship and port operations, Business Development and Customer Experience, Gary has worked for some of Europe’s leading ferry companies. You can follow Gary on Twitter at @garyandrews77
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