Two “Dredger” Ships Seen In Bermuda’s Waters

October 28, 2015

Two ships — the Niccolò Machiavelli and Astrolabe — have been seen in Bermuda’s waters, with both ships listed as “dredgers” on marine websites.

Last week the Ministry of Public Works said the widening of the North Channel — to accommodate the new generation of cruise ships — will commence at the end of this month, and the dredging will be a 24 hour, seven day a week operation and will take approximately one month to complete.

The Niccolò Machiavelli in Bermuda today:


“The Niccolò Machiavelli is a Self-Propelled Cutter Suction Dredger, a technically extremly complex ship used for dredging water ways, building wharfs, artificial islands or dredging the coastline, which is able to reach a dredging depth of 36.6 meters,” according to

“The ship is capable of dredging [cutting and simultaneous suction] compacted sand, stiff clay, stones and similar sediments of the sea floor . The excavated material is unloaded by the port or starboard side spuds into barges or through a swivel to a floating pipeline to the shore at a distance of about 10 kilometers.”

The Astrolabe docked in St George’s last week:

Astrolabe St George's Bermuda, October 22 2015-1

According to the channel study website, the re-alignment of the North Channel has been agreed so as to minimise the impact to the coral reefs, dredging will commence in late October to avoid main coral and fish spawning season, the dredge spoils will be re-used in the landfill project at South Basin, and 598 corals have been relocated to adjacent reefs and are being monitored.

In addition to the Niccolò Machiavelli and Astrolabe, this week’s Bermuda shipping schedule [PDF] also lists another dredger, Boussole, as scheduled to be here.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Bermyman says:

    So so so so bad for the reef system!

  2. Northshore says:

    Or not, maybe it will boost the reef ! Nothing else is working. the Bays and Creeks need dredging too don`t you think?

    • Impressive says:

      what do you mean by nothing else is working?? Has there been a concerted effort to boost the existence of the various reefs that I don’t know about.. Not attacking you, just trying to get clarity on that comment. Don’t know how dredging will boost the reef, but I am eager to be educated.

  3. Terry says:

    I thought I was dreaming when I saw those vessels just off shore and alongside a dock.

    “Seen in Bermuda Waters”.

    I will be damned/dredged…………

    Rum and silt all around.

  4. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    wonder how much this is going to cost the Bermuda Tax Payers!

  5. with all the money marine/ports collecting (4000)BOATS/MOORINGS THEY SHOULD DREDGE SOME OF ARE BAYS/CREEKS.

  6. TJ says:

    Ridiculous messing up the economy system and the reefs bigger ships don’t mean bigger money said.

  7. Paul Revere says:

    I am amazed because when the PLP was in power, certain people within the community including some in the current government complained and criticized when the then cruise ship policy.
    Things were said, like, we don’t need these hamburger people, too many cruise ships what about our airline n hotel guests, those poor dolphins.
    I guess since the CAN’T do NO wrong OBA is in power, it’s ok to dredge the channels to accommodate even larger cruise ships.
    Where’s the ECO ppl hollering and screaming. You been pretty quiet.
    Do I hear Channelgate?