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Viking Star In Dry Dock

The Brief

For the last couple of years, I am proud to have been a part of the photography team for Viking cruises. This latest project was very different. No cruising to glamorous ports around the world. No this time my travel was over to Genoa and then further travel, under the ship!

This is because this commission was to document Viking Star coming into what’s called Dry Dock. This is where the full outside of the ship is cleaned and given a full maintenance procedure. Also, during this time, several interior projects were carried out to improve and enhance this gorgeous ocean cruise ship.

So a very simple brief here. Document each and every stage that happens. Sounds simple but I was on my own, so lots of planning needed to be in the right place at the right time around, inside and under this gigantic ship.

Story of the Shoot

We started this by discussing the schedule for the week. Viking Star was due to approach Genoa, be in dry dock for 5 days before sailing back to full duty. The amount of work being carried out was staggering. From inspections, to cleaning, to repainting, to panels being replaced…. the list went on and on.

The operations manager put me on speed dial, so if an important event was happening then I could be called and need to change tact right that moment.

Being underneath a ship of this size is a very strange experience. Its also vast and extremely dark – so it really put our gear & knowledge to the test.

Our step counter would have been huge each day, as we went up and down the vast number of narrow slippery steps down the the dock bed and back up again.

One minute we are photographing the noisiest sound ever, the jet washing the bottom of the ship, the next minute we are up on top deck documenting new flooring being laid.

It went like this for the week. But I did it. All of the special visits covered, all ship inspections documented. All of the treatments to the outside and the renovations inside. A very long week, but the images are spectacular.

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