World’s largest crane vessel Sleipnir on its way to Rotterdam

The world’s largest semi-submersible crane vessel Sleipnir will arrive in the Port of Rotterdam for the first time on Saturday, March 21. Since its delivery to Heerema in July 2019, the vessel has been busy across the globe.

Named after the Norse God Odin’s eight-legged stallion, the vessel stands at 220 metres long, 102 metres wide, can accommodate 400 employees, and weighs 119,000 tonnes. The vessel has already broken lifting records for crane vessels with a 15,300-tonne lift in September 2019.

The semi-submersible vessel has two cranes onboard, each capable of lifting 10,000 metric tonnes. This ability makes it suitable for the largest offshore jobs, such as building wind turbines at sea, dismantling old platforms, or constructing the most significant offshore structures.

The ship was built by Sembcorp Marine, a Singaporean ship and offshore builder.


Due to Sleipnir’s two large streamlined floats, the vessel can sail relatively quickly (on average, twenty kilometres per hour) with limited fuel consumption. What is especially unique about Sleipnir is that it has dual-fuel propulsion and can, therefore, run entirely on the emission-reducing fuel LNG.

Heerema actively invests in sustainability measures, most recently trialling alternative fuels on the Thialf, a semi-submersible crane vessel with a 14,200-metric-tonne lifting capacity. The company is also involved in the ongoing Shore Power Caland Canal project in collaboration with Eneco to provide one hundred per cent renewable energy to Heerema vessels that moor in the Port of Rotterdam.

Arrival in Rotterdam

The Sleipnir arrives in Rotterdam following a project execution in Trinidad, having already worked in Brazilian and Israeli waters. The vessel arrives to prepare for future decommissioning work across the North Sea. The vessel is due to depart at the end of March for the first of several jobs.

To protect the health of Heerema’s onboard crew during the coronavirus outbreak, no visitors are permitted to visit the vessel.

SWZ|Maritime wrote extensive articles about the Sleipnir in 2018. Read the article about the ship in the October 2018 issue. An article about the vessel’s record-breaking cranes can be found in the December 2018 issue.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.