May 30, 2024


There’s something slightly unnerving about seeing an enormous cruise ship out of water. A skyscraper-sized vessel propped up by a few planks of wood in a barren dry dock is definitely strange to see, but it gets even odder when you watch workers slowly cut a ship in half in pursuit of making the vessel even longer.

That’s exactly the fate that befell the Silver Spirit cruise ship, which is operated by European cruise line Silversea Cruises. The ship entered dry dock back in 2018 as a 640-foot, 36,009 ton ship, and left two months later almost 50 feet longer and with a new gross tonnage of 39,519.

Now, video of that glow up has surfaced online and was brought to our attention by the folks over at UniLad in the UK. And, dear reader, it makes for some very satisfying viewing I must say.

In the footage, workers can be seen cutting down the center of the ship. Once separated, the two sections are then slowly, but surely, inched further and further apart until there’s a gaping hole in the middle of the ship.

Silver Spirit Lengthening Video

Next, a brand new, pre-fabricated section of ship is rolled into place and slotted between the two halves. The three pieces are then joined together and the refurbishment of the ship is complete, As UniLad explains:

Some 500 skilled workers put in approximately 450,000 man hours to insert the mid section and stretch Silver Spirit from 195.8 to 210.7 meters (640 feet to 690 feet).

The operation involved 846 tons of steel and 110,000 meters (68 miles) of cabling and 8,000 meters (five miles) of piping.

After the work was finished the ship has had its capacity increased by about 12 percent.

Once the work was finished up, the Silver Spirit returned to the seas with its new capacity that allowed for an additional 68 passengers to hop onboard the cruise liner.

A version of this article originally appeared on Jalopnik.



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