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Ever Seen A 42-Ton Cruise Ship Float On Air? Now You Can

December 7, 2012

Our cruise ship accident attorneys have seen our fair share of strange and unusual incidents onboard vessels, both at sea and in port, but recently, one matter has caught our attention and left us nothing short of speechless. For those who witnessed the odd sight first hand, it must have seemed as though some sort of magic was taking place. After all, what else would you call a 42-ton cruise ship that floats on air?

Well, perhaps it wasn’t magic, but it’s still fun to think about it. On Monday morning, residents were treated to an out-of-the-ordinary sight on the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont: a large cruise ship was flying through the air – with the help of a crane.

Crews from Demag Riggers & Crane Services in Williston, Vt. hoisted the 84,000 pound hull of “The Moonlight Lady” out of the water after spending three years at sea, offering overnight cruises of Lake Champlain. Under new management, the company’s new owner ordered the ship be moved owner to Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vt. The ship will get a make-over, with new decks and will be renamed “The Northern Star.” The ship is expected to start offering day cruises of Lake Memphremagog beginning in May.

Chris Johansen, of the Memphremagog Navigation Co., was worried that the near-magic experience would end in disaster. He joked that he held his breath while the crane hoisted the ship from the water onto a flatbed truck.

“It’s been a year in the making,” said Johansen. “Between the financing process, the planning process, and looking at this going, ‘How the heck are we going to get a 65-foot long boat that’s 30-feet high to Newport?’ And here you see we’re a quarter of the way there. This is a big step, it’s a huge step. I’m a happy camper.”

Because of the ship’s large size, it had to travel on a flatbed truck after midnight, while there are fewer drivers on the roads. Charlebois Towing of Colchester, Vt. Transported the cruise ship down Interstate 89 to White River Jct. Then the vessel headed up Interstate 91 to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

In Newport, CCS Constructors of Morrisville, Vt. will be in charge of lifting the future Northern Star into Lake Memphremagog. According to a company spokesperson, lifting the newly designed ship will require an even larger crane because the crane cannot get as close to the water in Newport as it could back in Burlington.

Until then, residents will have to settle for a cruise ship that doesn’t seem to magically float across the sky, but perhaps a few lucky people will witness the new Northern Star fly through the air once it is refurbished.

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