Keel laying of Oceanwide’s “Janssonius” | Polarjournal
A keel laying traditionally describes the placement of a keel, the most important front and rear section of the ship’s frame. (Photo: Oceanwide Expeditions)

On June 1, 2020, the keel was laid down for the newest ship of the Dutch shipping company Oceanwide Expeditions, the “M/V Janssonius”. The traditional shipbuilding event, which marks the official “birthday” of a ship, took place in the Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia, and celebrates the official start of construction of the “Janssonius”. Apart from the maiden voyage, which is planned for “Janssonius” in late summer 2021, the keel laying is one of the most important dates in the life of a ship.

The “Hondius” was the first new building of Oceanwide Expeditions,which was commissioned in Croatia. Thanks to the punctual delivery and the good experience with the Brodosplit shipyard, the follow-up order was contracted. (Photo: Oceanwide Expeditions)

“Janssonius” and her upcoming program

The “Janssonius” is designed in the same way as the last ship of the Dutch, the “Hondius”, and will be a Polar Class-6 ship with a passenger capacity of 170 people in 80 cabins and a crew of 72 people, which includes hotel staff, ship crew and expedition leaders. After the launch of the “Janssonius” next year, she will start her journeys in the Antarctic season.

There is not much to see yet. But in just 1.5 years, the “Janssonius” will be on the road in Antarctica for expedition guests. (Photo: Oceanwide Expeditions)

The importance of keel laying

A keel laying traditionally describes the placement of a keel, the most important front and rear section of the ship’s frame, which connects the bow to the stern. However, since modern ships such as the “Janssonius” are usually built from prefabricated modules and blocks, the ceremony more often describes the first joining of these components or lowering the first module into the dock. For this reason, it is often referred to as “keel authentication”, as some blocks may have been built months before.

Founder and shareholder Wijnand van Gessel, COO Mark van der Hulst and other key members of Oceanwide Expeditions and Brodosplit shipyard took part in the “Janssonius” keel laying ceremony.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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