Thordon Bearings seawater-lubricated COMPAC propeller shaft system given royal ‘seal’ of approval
P&O Cruise’s new flagship Britannia was officially christened by the Queen yesterday at a naming ceremony in Southampton, U.K.
The 3,647 passenger vessel, the largest cruise ship built by Fincantieri’s Monfalcone shipyard for the British market, features a bevy of environmentally-friendly solutions, including Thordon Bearings’ COMPAC system to safeguard the marine environment against operational oil spills.
Andy Edwards, Commercial Director, Thordon Bearings, said, “The delivery of Britannia – the largest cruiseship built for the U.K. market – marks a significant milestone in British maritime history with a name synonymous with Britain’s long relationship with the sea. Britannia will rule the waves.”
P&O Cruises’ new flagship is the third Britannia in the company’s history, the first of which entered service in 1840. The second was built to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, also operating a water-lubricated shaft seal and bearing system.
“Prior to 1950, seawater was used as the lubricant for all vessels with lignum vitae used as the bearing material to support the propeller shaft, while stuffing boxes acted as the seal to prevent seawater from entering the engine room,” Edwards explained. “The propeller shaft bearing has evolved considerably since then and we are pleased that P&O Cruises has chosen such an environmentally safe technology.”