Posted January 11th, 2018, 12:42 PM
I believe it has something to do with fast access to the lifeboats/tenders. Viking's new ships have a full wrap around promenade. Viking chose to put the boats in space directly above the promenade instead of cabins. For Princess to do this, they would have had to take cabin space away from the Emerald Deck. Not likely the Princess bean counters would have put up with that.
I seem to remember that she has stated this was told to her by an officer. However, there is no requirement for this, certainly not since the Concordia, and I've debated this with her in the past. What has happened is that cruise lines learned that the old movable gravity davit, where the boat was stored above the promenade deck, and completely inboard, and then the whole davit would slide down rails to move the boat outboard of the ship's side and down to the promenade deck took up too much space from creating cabins, and in particular balcony cabins. So, they went to the "fixed" davit, or "sliding" davit, where the boat hangs at least partially outboard of the ship's side and the davit only extends outwards, not down and out, to get the boat clear of the ship's side. This saves space above the boats for pushing more cabins outboard, and allowing these to be "obstructed balcony" cabins, increasing revenue. Were these davits created because of the Concordia, nope. They have been used on offshore oil platforms for 40 years, it is just that the cruise lines want to increase interior (revenue generating space) at the expense of outside (non-revenue) spaces. If anything that the Concordia showed, it would be that the boats should be stowed higher,
rather than lower.
I believe that Viking uses a modified version of the old gravity davit for one reason, their small ships would not store the boat high enough to meet the SOLAS minimum height requirement if they used the sliding davit.