The use of flotels during the 2010 FIFA World Cup recently won by Spain is an example of the possibilities and variety of uses of flotels, but we will see here another two recent examples; we dedicate special efforts to study the technology and uses of flotels, as this is the state of the art of maritime technology for offering accommodation to people at sea: rivers, bays and oceans. Therefore they are of a special interest for seasteading not only in engineering aspects due to the variety of designs used as flotels, but also in the business cases in which they are used, and that could be helpfully for getting some ideas for the Swin or Sink! Contest.
Flotel for FIFA World Cup
Many cruise vessels are used temporally as Flotels during the hold of an important even just moored to a quay (with the same philosophy of Flotel 92
) o even sailing from one port to another. The project by One Ocean Club for 2010 FIFA World Cup is a good example.
Sister ships, MS Noordam and MS Westerdam, are both rated among the top 20 cruise ships in the world and are worthy recipients of the “International 5-Star Diamond Award” for quality and service. During the period of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Noordam and Westerdam would be sailing between the ports of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, serving as a prime location for accommodation, entertainment and recreation.
The One Ocean Club “cruise flotel” is a proven concept from the 2004 Athens Olympics, and for 2010, guests could look forward to being a part of one of the most secure luxury clubs & hotels in South Africa, whilst never being more than 15 minutes transfer time from port to the stadiums, a major advantage for discerning travelers, due to agreements with local partners that would offer good logistic onshore.
Flotel for United Nations workers at Haiti
Cruise vessels are used as flotels not only in important recreational events like Olympic Games or FIFA World Cup. United Nations has also rented cruise vessels as flotels for accommodate United Nations peacekeepers in earthquake-battered Haiti during first moths of 2010.
Both the 480-foot vessel named “Ola Esmeralda”, and its smaller companion the “Sea Voyager” have been used as home by these U.N. staffers, where many of them are living while they stay in Haiti’s ruined capital of Port au Prince, where most residents are homeless.
But some controversial exists as it was considered too expensive, and there were not any reason to offer luxury accommodation to U.N. workers, as explained here
Flotel for BP oil spill: “Martin Quarters”
This barge is a floating hotel, or “flotel,” set up by BP and several subcontractors to accommodate more than 500 workers hired to clean up the worst oil spill in U.S. history: the disaster of Deepwater Horizon platform .Temporary housing is the only way to station workers at Port Fourchon, a massive shipyard that serves offshore oil rigs and is surrounded by ecologically sensitive marshes and beaches.
40-foot-long corrugated steel boxes, resembling oversized white shipping containers, are stacked two high and three wide atop this barge. This use of shipping containers as living quarters is widely used in the offshore industry as explained in another blog post about container cities
More info of this project can be found here
Although in these cases the flotels are positioned moored to a quay or sailing from port to port, and not outside territorial waters, some ideas and conclusions useful for seasteading could be taken from them:
- A good logistic onshore with local partners is of a paramount importance in order to offer seasteaders possibility to go to land from time to time, like “One Ocean Club” in 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- The use of shipping containers over barges is something quite normal in the industry, like in “Martin Quarters” flotel, which could lower the costs of a seastead in an important level.
- The variety of uses of flotels implies that there should exist also a variety of possible uses and business aboard a seastead. Swin or Sink! Contest will demonstrate it!!