November 27, 2021

When a cruise ship enters cold lay-up, what does that mean?

cold lay up Malaysia
cold lay up Malaysi

Many passengers have caught cruise lines indicating their ships might undergo cold lay-ups in recent weeks, but what does it mean?

With cruise lines on an extended hiatus and no cruises scheduled to resume anytime soon, one possibility is to relocate ships from a warm to a cold lay-up.

What exactly is a chilly lay-up?

When a cruise ship enters cold lay up Malaysia, it effectively shuts down as much of the ship as possible to save money.

The Royal Caribbean fleet happens to be currently in a condition of warm lay-up, which means the ship may be returned to service fast because the machinery, lifesaving equipment, and navigational systems are all in good working order.

The opposite is true in a chilly lay-up. To protect the ship, the majority of the mechanical systems are turned off, with only the minimal essentials remaining online.

Various ways of conserving the ship’s interiors can be employed depending on how long the company plans to lay-up the ship. The air conditioning will run for three to nine months to keep the humidity down during the layup.  However, if you stay in the room for an extended period of time, the chambers will be hermetically sealed.

cold lay up Malaysi

The number of personnel members onboard has been considerably reduced.

In a hot lay-up, the engine and deck departments are nearly completely staffed, but in a cold lay-up, there would be a skeleton crew which could step in to keep the ship rolling in the event of an urgency (such as a hurricane).

Why would you do a cold lay-up?

If you’re wondering why a cruise operator might consider placing its ships in cold lay-up, the answer is simple: cost savings.

When compared to a hot lay-up, the advantage of putting a cruise ship into cold lay-up is the additional savings.

“The biggest cost in a lay-up is people, and you have a lot less people in a cold lay-up than you have in a hot lay-up.”

Obstacles to returning ships to service

It’s not easy to get a ship back into service when it’s been in a state of cold lay-up.

Depending on how long the ship has been in cold lay-up, you’ll have to effectively re-certify it.

“If it’s been more than six months,” Command Goldstein explained, “there are a plethora of certificates that have to be updated,” and he detailed four entities that go into a ship’s recertification:

  • State of the ship’s owner (where the ship is located)
  • The country’s flag (Bahamas, for all Royal Caribbean ships)
  • The Society for Classification is a non-profit organisation dedicated

All four entities must be involved in putting the ship into cold lay-up, and they must all be involved in removing the ship from cold lay-up.

How long does it take to get a ship back into service after a long period of cold storage?

Another question is how quickly Royal Caribbean can return a ship to service after it has been placed in cold storage.

cold lay up Malaysi