our expertise at work


{ Case studies }

Brookes Bell has a proven track record of solving big problems for big vessels including ships, passenger cruise liners and superyachts. The case studies below outline the various ways Brookes Bell have helped optimise, improve safety and also investigate when things went badly wrong on some of the world’s largest modern luxury cruise ships.



Case study 1: Example of Safety at Sea and Alternative Design

In 2005 RCCL were developing the largest cruise liner ever built

Central Atrium onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner

Central Atrium onboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Liner

Key requirements

The vessel needed to:

1)    Be demonstrably safer than any other cruise liner

2)    Have greater fuel efficiency

3)    Have a high degree of innovation and onboard passenger experience

Role of brookes bell in making it happen

Brookes Bell were brought in to assist in meeting the technical challenges in the evaluation of safety for flooding, fire and evacuation and in improving vessel layout in relation to this and in passenger comfort, hull performance and in manoeuvring the vessel in difficult ports.

Brookes Bell represented the owner in discussions with the shipyard, suppliers, class and flag states. Using Computational Fluid Dynamics, the designs of the open atrium, solarium and water show areas were enhanced for passenger comfort. It also resulted in the design of the famous retractable funnels.

This highlights Brookes Bell's expertise in Safety Design factors as well as Alternative Designs. Using software tools, research and design skills Brookes Bell was able to help RCCL achieve its key requirements. These skills and tools are readily available and transferable to the requirements of Superyacht design and Superyacht safety.


case study 2: Example of “Safe Return to Port” Compliance

SOLAS & Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Key requirements

SOLAS Regulations require that the crew of a passenger ship demonstrate the ability to contain damage following a flooding or fire casualty and recover the ships’ essential systems.


Anthem of the Seas Passenger Cruise Liner

Anthem of the Seas Passenger Cruise Liner

In 2014 Brookes Bell developed a system for “Anthem of the Seas” which was under construction at the time. Brookes Bell had previously advised RCCL on a project and had questioned the ability of the crew to carry out the manual actions required to demonstrate compliance with the regulations for the ships safety.

Within two weeks Brookes Bell's software engineers and naval architects presented a feasible solution which was implemented in just three months, its functionality and crew training took place before her maiden voyage in early 2015. Safe Return to Port has also been developed for RCCL “Harmony of the Seas” and is planned for other RCCL vessels.

This demonstrates interdepartmental collaboration within Brookes Bell, combining core skills such as software development and naval architecture. This same skillset and software and ship safety training applicable to large superyachts


Case Study 3: Example of Shaft alignment & bearing failures on large vessels

Importance of independent assessments in new designs


A client entered into a contract to purchase a fleet of 14 ships with a new design concept developed by a consortium of Large Class societies and ship design offices. However as the vessels entered operation a series of stern tube bearings failed. Brookes Bell were asked to investigate the underlying cause of these failures and present possible rectification measures.


The work involved naval architects, marine engineers and mechanical engineers. Advanced simulations in hull, shaft alignment and propeller hydrodynamics showed that the design of the propulsion system was not adequate for the chosen shape of the hull and structures. Various rectification measures were identified and highlighted.

This shows how effective the interdepartmental collaboration between Brookes Bell marine and mechanical engineers, tribologists, naval architects and hydrodynamic experts can be. It also indicates the importance of independent assessments in new designs, which applies to superyacht design too.



case study 4: Example of Incident Management

Goodfaith, Riverdance and MSC Napoli

Brookes Bell often undertake project management in major marine incidents as they did with Goodfaith, Riverdance and MSC Napoli, where they worked all the way through from the salvage through to tender for the wreck removal and the removal phase.

Following investigation and reporting of these ship incidents Brooke Bell assisted owners and insurers in arbitration claims.

The teams consisted of Master Mariners, Marine Engineers, Naval Architects and Cargo Scientists.

Brookes Bell were brought in due to their reputation of integrity, experience and independence, as well as the depth of their knowledge and the respect Brookes Bell has within the Marine Industry



case study 5: Example of marine incident simulations

Sinking of MV Estonia

Hundreds of lives were lost when a passenger RORO ferry sank in the Baltic Sea. Initially the design of the locking devices on the forward bow ramp were blamed, but the Swedish Government commissioned Brookes Bell to further investigate.

A forensic review of statements, diving surveys, 100s of numerical, computer and physical simulations established the loss scenario which was then successfully physically tested with an experiment witnessed by hundreds of involved parties.

This demonstrates how vital expert forensic reviews of casualties and simulations can help prevent future incidents and can lead to safer marine design and software solutions for ships and superyachts.




case study 6: Example of Safety at Sea

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines: Symphony of the Seas

Photo: Par Darthvadrouw — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo: Par Darthvadrouw — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0

Brookes Bell Safety at Sea carried out another successful installation of the onboard Safe Return to Port, Crew Advisory System (BBCAS) on Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship Symphony of the Seas. Two of Brookes Bell software engineers were sent to Saint-Nazaire shipyard, spending a full week onboard setting up and configuring the software, carrying out a full site acceptance test and training up over thirty members of crew.

The case study highlights the Safe Return to Port system, developed in house by Brookes Bell. It consists of a sophisticated two stage approach that evaluates the redundancy of essential ship systems, in accordance with SOLAS provisions and IMO guidelines, and provides a means for the owners & crew to demonstrate compliance, manage & monitor SRtP drills for a safer ship.