Will Fire Panel Safety Issues Affect Other Cruise Ships Too?

Credits: Josiah Weiss/Unsplash

The launch of upscale cruise line Explora Journeys’ first ship, Explora I, was delayed in early July, following the revelation that some of the paneling installed in the ship had lost its safety certification.

Launch Delayed

In May, Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri — which is constructing Explora I — was informed that Finnish manufacturer PAROC, which offers fire-resistant paneling for the marine industry, had lost its fire safety certification for one unspecified brand of panel. Later, the company informed Fincantieri that a second type of paneling, also installed aboard Explora I, had also lost its fire safety certification. The specific types of paneling that have had their certification revoked — and how much of it is in use aboard Explora I — has not been revealed.

Views Of Other Cruise Lines

A statement issued by Explora states, “Explora Journeys was only recently made aware before the delivery of Explora I of an issue that some materials used on the ship did not meet the required safety certifications. “As the safety of our guests and crew is of the utmost priority we took the immediate and responsible decision not to take delivery, even though this meant that we had to cancel the ship’s first sailing to ensure she can be delivered with the highest safety standards and will have all appropriate safety certifications in place.”

Views Of Critics

On Cruise Critics message boards, readers are acutely tuned into what may — or may not — be happening with this issue. Those set to sail on Explora’s maiden voyage — many of whom are already in Europe — are understandably frustrated that their cruise vacation won’t be going ahead. In the absence of hard information, speculation is filling the void.

For those scheduled to sail MSC Euribia in the coming weeks and months, being the only other ship identified besides Explora I is worrying. However, as some posters have noted, the scope of the danger the loss of this certification by Paroc poses is still as yet undetermined. “No one knows specifics yet but it could be as simple as misapplication of a certification label, or panel failure at 1 degree less than required,” writes Heartgrove.

Fixing Issues

If you are sailing on a ship built prior to the last year or two, chances are your ship isn’t affected, even if its paneling was made by Paroc. Much like a food recall or a recall by an automotive manufacturer, not all panels will have failed their safety rating — just ones manufactured during a certain date range or process. What that range is, we don’t currently know. But, at the moment, it’s safe to presume the issue mainly affects ships that are under-construction or recently launched. Not every cruise line uses Paroc panels, either — as with any industry, there are numerous suppliers involved. Ships that were recently launched have had to pass rigorous marine certification processes in order to be able to set sail. If any of the faulty paneling is found, it will likely be removed while the ship is in service. If the usage is widespread, a drydock may be necessary to refit all the affected paneling.

Did you subscribe to our newsletter?

It’s free! Click here to subscribe!

Source: Cruisecritic


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.