This particular episode showcases the story of how massive objects, such as a stadium roof, a surge barrier, or, in this case, a cruise liner, can be moved from one place to another. The episode focuses specifically on how ships can be stretched and made bigger, without having to build new ones.
The cruise industry is always looking for ways to get more passengers on board, as more passengers mean more revenue. One way to achieve this goal is to cut old ships in half and stretch them, a process known as jumboisation. However, this is no easy task, which is why only a handful of companies specialize in lifting and moving massive machinery or structures, using tailor-made cranes, trailers, flatbeds, barges, and even ship carriers.
In the documentary, you will see how Fagioli, a Heavy Lift company from Italy, works with leading cruise ship builder, Fincantieri, to stretch a ship belonging to the MSC line in the Mediterranean port of Palermo. The ship is two football pitches long and can weigh up to 50 thousand tonnes, making it a complex and challenging engineering task.
The program is fascinating, taking you through the whole process, including the challenges and the solutions, such as using wheels and hydraulics to move such a massive object. The documentary will show you the true meaning of Archimedes’ quote, “Give me a lever and I will move the world”, as you witness these mega objects being moved with impressive ease.
So, if you want to learn more about engineering, mega objects, and the cruise industry, make sure to watch the “Big, Bigger, Biggest” episode on “Jumboisation”.