The Incredible Floating Cruise Dock (Photos)

August 14, 2012 | By | 12 Comments

The SeaWalk is a motorized, floating pier that saw its first primetime action Saturday when Cunard’s 2,068-passenger Queen Elizabeth anchored in Skjokden, Norway.
The 720-foot-long, 15-foot wide mobile dock looks like a piece from an industrial erector set, its three segments unlatched and unfolded into flamboyant “Z.”

Equipped with 2 x 250 HP azimuth thrusters, it took just 12 minutes from the time QE was moored until passengers could shuffle into an idyllic town abutting Norway’s tallest mountain and deepest fjord.
“Why should the ship be moored to the pier when the pier can be moored to the ship,” wrote Ole Heggheim, one of the company’s partners, in an e-mail to Cruise Critic. Heggheim explained that the collapsible dock can offload more than 4,000 passengers in an hour from an 1,100-foot-long ship. Comfortable operation is possible in even 3 to 6 foot swells, he said.
Skjolden’s SeaWalk is the first of its species, though Heggheim and company hope other tender ports will see the value. (You can have your very own for less than half the cost of a dock, he added.) So who’s next?
Trade secrets at this point, said Heggheim, but “any port that uses tendering operation could benefit from the SeaWalk.” Tops on our list: Grand Cayman. The popular Caribbean port is one of the biggest cruise pier holdouts, so when rough seas limit tender operations, thousands can be marooned just offshore.
Some images:
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    12 Responses to “The Incredible Floating Cruise Dock (Photos)”

    1. Carolyn Arkell Terlouw
      August 14th, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

      Love this! One of those “why didn’t I think of that” ideas.

    2. Amy Anderson
      August 14th, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      I agree…I actually “did” think of it…once, and then assumed that was a stupid idea! LOL.

    3. Robert Walker
      August 15th, 2012 @ 10:13 am

      Great idea. Get it to Grand Cayman ASAP! Along with all the other places in the Caribbean still relying on tenders.

    4. Karen
      August 15th, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      Great idea!! I love the freedom to really come and go as you wish… No waiting for tenders…LOVE IT..

    5. John Hardaway
      August 15th, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

      What about using this at Cancun where the harbor is so shallow that most ships don’t stop here.

    6. Elizabeth Schaffer
      August 15th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

      That is the coolest! They definitely need to get them into the Caribbean.

    7. Pam
      August 15th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

      Great idea for anywhere a tender is used!!

    8. KitKat0229
      August 15th, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

      This looks similar to the bridge in Curacao. Grand Cayman definitely needs this!!!

    9. Mary
      August 15th, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

      Sitka, Alaska could really use this, what a time saver!

    10. Aage Glemming
      August 16th, 2012 @ 4:03 am

      This makes me even more proud to be Norwegian!
      Nice to see that we can produce more than petrol and fish!
      More info here:

      http://www.seatrade-insider.com/News/News-Headlines/Cunard-liner-tests-Skjoldens-new-SeaWalk-floating-pier.html

    11. Glenn
      August 16th, 2012 @ 11:37 am

      Great idea. This looks like it is in a protected area and wonder how this would work in the open seas like an area like Grand Cayman. May be difficult to walk on if the ocean starts acting up.

    12. Anon
      July 3rd, 2015 @ 10:48 am

      For those of you pushing this for Grand Cayman – This design is IDIOTIC for topical oceans. like Grand Cayman.

      How many hurricanes and tropical storms does Norway get?

      S system like this in Grand Cayman during even a Norwester would demolish it and send the debris flying in town. Stop pushing to incredibly dumb idea for grand cayman. This system belongs in rivers, lakes or sounds such as the picture above when the wave can reach minimal levels.

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