Friday, May 17, 2019
As vice president of vessel refurbishment at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Colin Gant is responsible for all refurbishment activities within world-leading cruise brands Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and Oceania Cruises.
At Cruise Ship Interiors Conference, Colin will share his expertise in the keynote session, 'Cruise Industry Outlook: Leaders' Debate', alongside fellow industry decision makers from Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Princess Cruises. Ahead of his session, taking place Wednesday, June 19, 2019, we caught up with Colin to find out what to expect on the day and more.
In my present role, I’m responsible for the planning and execution of vessel refurbishment projects for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas Cruise lines. These projects include refurbishment of a wide range of spaces, including cabins, suites, public areas, galleys, and so on.
I was attracted to this world at a very early age. I grew up on the water and learned to sail when I was young. Early on I knew I wanted to serve in the US Navy and spent a lot of years at sea in the Navy before joining the cruise industry. For me, working with ships is a natural fit.
I guess you could say I was attracted to this world at a very early age. I grew up on the water and learned to sail when I was young. Early on I knew I wanted to serve in the US Navy and spent a lot of years at sea in the Navy before joining the cruise industry. For me, working with ships is a natural fit.
The biggest challenge we face at the moment is capacity. When I say capacity I’m referring to outfitters, shipyards, and suppliers. The newbuild industry and refit industry are both booming at the same time and this has put an immense strain on the resources required to execute all of these projects. Because of the strain, we’re seeing companies rely more and more on project managers and workers with limited, or no refit experience, which increases the risk profiles for these projects drastically. The opportunity is that it’s a great time to be in this industry and there is plenty of work to do…
The most recent project we executed was the Westernization of Norwegian Joy. It was a tremendously challenging project, as we essentially gutted all the public spaces on the ship that had been designed for the China market - which was almost all of them - so we could install new venues to harmonize Joy with her sister vessel, Norwegian Bliss. This project was particularly interesting because it was put together in an incredibly short period of time and as the project was happening we moved the ship around the world. The project began in Shanghai, before going to Singapore for a 21-day drydock, having a brief stop in Taiwan, followed by Tokyo for a USCG inspection ahead of arrival to the US. The ship then reached Seattle for final touch-ups and offload, and concluded the project in Vancouver for receiving guests. All of this took place in just 47 days.
The most important trend I see is how much we rely on analytics and data for our project planning and execution. We can’t get enough of it and are becoming more and more reliant on it for everything we do. Refit projects have grown so much in scale over the years, while the time to execute them continues to shrink. Without proper data analysis, you simply won’t succeed. In today’s day and age, if you’re not using data analytics for your project planning, then you’re a dinosaur and it’s a just a matter of time before you have your reckoning with that asteroid.
Awesome, aggressive, and crazy (In a good way!)
Honestly, I’m more interested in hearing what my colleagues have to say. I’ve known most of the folks on the panel for years now and I always enjoy hearing their thoughts and what projects they’re working on.
I’m looking forward to having such a great mix of talent and experience together at one event focused on interiors. It’s been a long time overdue and I think it’s going to be great.