“Personal contact and mutual trust”
Royal Spido and Veth Propulsion by Twin Disc has been partners for decades. Over the years, Veth Propulsion has provided new products, retrofits and service to four of Spido's vessel. In this interview Lieuwe Ferwerda, the longest sailing captain with Spido reviews the partnership with Veth Propulsion.
Partnership for more than 20 years
"The cooperation with Veth Propulsion started in 2000 with the 'Abel Tasman', the second Spido passenger vessel. For the first vessel, Marco Polo (built in 1995), another thruster supplier was chosen. The thrusters in this specific vessel did not run smoothly and caused steering problems. Complications arose when importing new parts and the service was not optimal. We also ran into a lot of operational costs. With the knowledge of and satisfaction with the Veth products on other vessels, the switch was quickly made. Veth Propulsion was already known in the market by their innovations around rudder propellers. We approached them and together we found a solution. Now, more than twenty years later we equip all our vessels with Veth thrusters."
Contact is based on mutual trust
"Veth Propulsion is a well-known brand, delivers quality products and the facility location in the Netherlands is perfect for us. If we have an issue with one of our vessels, a service engineer quickly comes over or we moor at the Veth dockside in Papendrecht. The contacts we have are based on mutual trust. Related to the thrusters as well as the Scania engines. The engines were fitted later through re-engineering and the thrusters through refitting. A good example is the Abel Tasman that was recently in Papendrecht for a bow thruster refit. A new Steering Grid (VSG-1000) was installed including Scania engine (Di13)."
"If we have a challenge with one of our vessels, Antoon is the first person that gets involved. Antoon is our consultant and he knows everything about Spido's vessels. The cooperation goes back for decades. Antoon has gained so much knowledge that he is able to immediately point out which issues we need to solve. If he can't work it out on his own, he calls Rene van Maastrigt at Veth Propulsion, his trusted contact person. There is a good partnership between Spido, Antoon and Veth Propulsion.
Electrification and the future
"As a cruise company it is important to invest in sustainability. It involves serious investments as well as challenges. Our vessel “Amalia” is a nice example of implementing sustainable / electric solutions. For example, there are solar panels on both sides of the VIP deck and the thruster is driven Diesel Electric. When we are ready to continue this process, we will consult Veth Propulsion for sure."
"Rotterdam as a city is growing and developing at a rapid pace. This offers Royal Spido many opportunities in the field of round trips, day cruises, theme cruises and events. Like everyone else, we are also affected by COVID-19. We have been able to make few sailing hours. For example, the Princess Amalia has only made a few trips after her completion in September 2019, nevertheless we cannot complain. The plans for a new Kuip with a pontoon for exclusive events offer perspective. The same applies to the Maasvlakte where there is a growing demand for events. In addition, Rotterdam is very popular with cruises. From the Cruise Terminal, tourists walk straight into the city, something you don't see everywhere! Enough opportunities where our hands are itching to get back to work soon!"