Ovation of the Seas turned to berth in the Fremantle Inner Harbour on arrival.The ship is 348 metres long and the Inner Harbour is 420 metres wide.

Ovation of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship ever to visit Australia, made its debut in Fremantle on 6 December.

Launched in Europe earlier this year, the ship is 168,666 gross tonnes and 348 metres in length, making it bigger than Queen Mary 2. It can carry 5000 passengers.

As the Fremantle Inner Harbour is 420 metres wide, the ship made an interesting spectacle when it turned to berth on arrival.

Deputy Harbour Master Capt. Stuart Davey said the ship was highly manoeuvrable and had more power (20,000kW) in its thrusters than most vessels that visit Fremantle have in their main engines.  ‘Combined with the 40,000kW power in its AZIPODS propulsion, it is able to spin on a dime.’

To prepare for the visit, Stuart hosted a simulation in October at the Fremantle Maritime Simulations Centre to assess the berthing and manoeuvring capabilities of the ship in the Inner Harbour with the Fremantle Pilots and the ship’s Master,

Capt. Flemming Nielsen, from Denmark.  ‘A full-risk assessment was conducted in the worst possible weather conditions that could be expected during its port call and we set the parameters to ensure the visit could be conducted safely,’ he said.

The simulations showed that the ship could berth safely at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal in winds of over 30 knots. There would be no impact on other shipping and if berth occupancy reduced the harbour width so the ship couldn’t turn safely in the Inner Harbour, the Master and pilots would be able to reverse the vessel into the port and alongside.

With 60 ship calls scheduled so far, 2016-17 is shaping up to be another bumper cruise season at Fremantle Port.

As well as Ovation of the Seas, debut calls this financial year have been Maasdam and Emerald Princess in November 2016 and Sirena to come on 27 March 2017.

Source: fremantleports.com.au