Cleaning the world’s biggest cruise ships

Cruise ships aren’t just a means of getting a traveller from A-B. Every new ‘floating hotel’ appears to be more elaborate than the last, with most boasting multiple dining venues, shopping centres and swimming pools you can even find ice rinks, casinos and basketball courts on board.

The continued addition of such high-quality facilities is all part of making the holidaymaker’s experience unforgettable – and first impressions count. So, it’s important to properly prepare a cruise liner for its maiden voyage, once the construction works are complete.

An eight-strong team of Access North’s IRATA-trained rope access specialists was involved in putting the finishing touches to a colossal new cruise liner’s interior. At over 350-metre long, 18 storeys tall and with a 30-minute walk from bow to stern, there was a mammoth job to undertake before it could set sail.

Tasks included everything from cleaning and painting to polishing. Dust marks and fingerprints had to be removed from the 50-metre glazed lift shaft, and the technicians also touched up paintwork throughout the ship – working on every floor and over the sides of interior balconies.

The variety of works required on site – and the quick turnaround of the project from enquiry to arrival – meant the team had to work swiftly, efficiently and with maximum responsiveness. They turned up complete with all of the rigging gear and maintenance products they could possibly need, to ensure a reactive service.

But, in truth, the speed and safety with which rope access technicians can operate, meant they were perfectly suited to the time-constrained job.

Pavilion upkeep for Butlin’s holiday parks If you were asked to think of ‘traditional British holidays’, chances are that Butlin’s would be at the top of your list. Access North has been providing proactive preventative maintenance for the British icon since 2012 – when Butlins Skegness originally enlisted the work-at-height specialists to clean the Skyline pavilion – an area with significant footfall.

Three specialists were initially contracted to tend to the North side of the structure, but once work was complete – the difference between clean and dirty was too vast to ignore, and Access North was asked to address the rest of the pavilion.

The team cleaned the entire top side of the PVC tensile membrane, using rope access techniques and Access North’s unique tensile fabric cleaning system, FabriCare – an industry recognised solution that has been fully tested to protect the membrane without damaging its surface.

Taking place during the low-season to avoid customer disruption, the process removed the maximum amount of dirt, grime and flaky delamination, while adding the benefit of a protective layer to help to extend the life of the fabric.

Whether a cruise ship, theme park or holiday resort, the leisure industry’s eye-catching structures need to be loved as much by FMs as those who enjoy them year after year. The manoeuvrability afforded by rope access offers a solution which is both cost and time-effective, and will ensure leisure facilities continue to operate at the very top of their game, season after season. TOMORROW’S FM | 37

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