The construction

Similar to when we’d started a new ship building project in the past, the Clipper Paris was a definite adventure filled with both pleasure and turmoil.

However, overall it was truly a sensational adventure, filled with plenty of emotion, passion, warm encounters, and never-ending anecdotes.

Here are some photos of the main construction steps :

STEP 1

Well, here is the kitchen if you can imagine.

STEP 2

This is truly the beginning !

STEP 3

Upside down is much easier; this is no accident.

STEP 4

You need many welders for it to hold !

STEP 5

The hull, is the most delicate part. A well-made hull is already a
step in the right direction.

STEP 6

It is starting to resemble a ship.

STEP 7

It is definitely better, right side up.

STEP 8

We are just skimming the rooftop…but how nice to build
under the hangar during cold weather.

STEP 9

With a nice coat of paint, it makes all the difference.

 

The Water Launch

Some photos of the water launch on December 2, 2006 :

STEP 1

220 tons are suspended at 4 tie points, which equals 55 tons per tie !

STEP 2

Final metal-grinding before the water launch.

STEP 3

Behind you see the MSC Orchestra which is a bit larger.

STEP 4

The slings and shackles...

STEP 5

Isn’t she beautiful ?

ETAPE 6

Beautifully shaped hull, no ?

STEP 7

The crane is enormous.

STEP 8

The same view, a bit further back...

STEP 9

...and much closer...

STEP 10

It floats !

STEP 11

 

STEP 12

This moment should be memorialized.

STEP 13

First cruise : 300m

STEP 14

 

STEP 15

 

STEP 16

The man in front, in black, that is the construction site manager:
hats off !

The Trip to Paris

In order to transport the vessel from the ship building site in Saint Nazaire, we had to request an exceptional navigation permit from the Maritime Affairs so that we could handle the trip solely without assistance; in fact, seeing as though the Clipper Paris is a river vessel, normally it is forbidden to navigate on the sea.

However, the ship was solidly built and has a streamlined hull not far from those of sea-faring vessels.

During the first trial runs in the Loire estuary, the ship revealed obvious nautical qualities while navigating in an agitated sea.

One of the challenges was the ‘Raz de Sein, le Fontveur, le chenal du Four and the Raz Blanchard’; these three passageways are some of the most perilous in the world. The tidal range was more than seven meters in fresh water and the current at eight knots in the Fromveur

The Fromveur is a particularly delicate passageway, as it stretches more than five miles between the Jument and Kéréon lighthouses. The Chenal du Four and La Hell are longer but less terrifying, except during North-Westerly storms.

The Raz Blanchard is a passageway between the Cap at the Hague and Aurigny, to the North-West point of Contentin. Here you can find one of the strongest tidal currents in Europe, with speed up to 12 knots when the tide is in during the equinox.