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Grandi Navi Veloci (GNV), part of MSC Group, has converted the ferry ship Splendid into a floating hospital equipped for the assistance of patients with COVID-19 and those recovering.

GNV started working on the project together with classification society RINA in early March, in close coordination with Italy’s Liguria Health System and Civil Protection. Together they defined a suitable solution that could be implemented in a very short period to increase Liguria's hospital capacity and, where necessary, to serve other areas of the country.

The project has a high level of flexibility and scalability and can be quickly adapted to meet future needs of the Liguria Region as the COVID-19 emergency evolves. Stationed at Ponte Colombo in Genoa’s Ferry Terminal, the current solution offers 25 beds in single cabins, although it is possible to equip additional cabins up to a total of 400 beds. The floating hospital also features a heliport and dedicated areas to healthcare personnel and crew, organized to guarantee suitable standards, comfort and flexibility.

RINA's contribution has been at core to the project, thanks to its expertise in the field of certifications and inspections in the maritime sector, which the company has provided free of charge. RINA verified that the new floating hospital complied with current regulations, identifying the correct balance between safety protection, naval regulations, the medical needs of a hospital indicated by ASL, the regional health care authority, and the urgent need to find a means of helping authorities and the National Health Service to address the fight against COVID-19.

This initiative has seen the immediate action of numerous partners, who made available products and services free of charge to equip the ship with all the necessary supplies, including HP-Aruba, Alpha Trading, Artigo Rubber Flooring, San Giorgio del Porto, Auscomar, ItalBrokers, Le Navi Maritime Agency, Burger King, Covim, Emis, Giunti Editore, IdealService, Infomaster, Mantero Sistemi, Provveditoria Marittima Ligure Angelo Novelli and Ansaldo Naval Technical Studio.