Road To Mandalay Conversion

10th August 2010


In 1994 the company project managed the conversion of the vessel for its current service. In 2008 we provided technical advice to allow the vessel to be rebuilt after major structural damage caused by running aground.

In 1994 Orient Express Hotels bought the then Rhine Cruise vessel Elbresidence to convert it for use as a luxury cruise vessel on Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. We project managed the conversion which included the upgrading of ship systems to accommodate the change of ambient temperature and the new service the vessel was entering into. We also participated in studies for the dock ship transfer to Myanmar from the shipyard during which the cruiser was overhanging the dock by some 15metres.

In 2008, whilst lying alongside in Rangoon, typhoon Nargus caused the vessel to break free of her moorings and drift down river running aground. This caused major structural damage with the vessel breaking its back. Subsequent measurements showed the vessel to have 1000mm permanent hog. Houlder provided expert technical advice on a strategy for eliminating the hog without having to cut the vessel in two. The vessel has subsequently undergone a full interior rebuild before returning to service.



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