Viking River Cruises
from MS Maribelle Photos
Along the river
Vertically sliding bollards within a lock can be used to lash a
ship or boat against the sides. As the water level changes, the mooring device
stays with the vessel.
The MS Maribelle was designed to fit into the locks
along the Rhône and the Saône with only inches to
spare on each side. The captain uses the rudders and bow thrusters to keep the
vessel centered while traversing the locks. (Sometimes I woke up at 4 or 5 a.m.
to the whining bursts of the bow thrusters as the ship went through a lock.)
Ships hang rubber bumpers over their sides to protect their
hulls in locks, but some scuffing is inevitable. During the captain's farewell
reception, the hotel manager claimed that the MS Maribelle's deckhands
spent less time painting than sailors on other Rhône
River vessels because captain Michel Fortier and second captain Sandrine
Duwell were so skilled in maneuvering the ship through locks.