M / n Splendid into a “hospital ship”

A project developed by GNV together with RINA to assist coronavirus patients and increase the hospital capacity of Liguria


Since February 2020, the coronavirus spread in Northern Italy, forcing local governments to promptly respond to the health emergency.

The Liguria Region had to define a plan that could be implemented in a very short time allowing, in the meantime, the evaluation of alternative ways. The most difficult task was to assist hundreds of potential patients increasing the hospital capacity of its area and, where necessary, of other parts of Italy.


The MSC Group company started working on the “hospital ship” project together with RINA since the beginning of the emergency in close coordination with the Ligurian Public Health System and with Civil Protection. In order to make the project available as soon as possible, GNV has sustained, together with some partners, the investments for the transformation of the M / n Splendid.

We provided our know-how and long experience in the field of certification and inspection in the marine sector for free. From the beginning we were committed to carry out the analysis of the scenario, with reference to the patient type and to verify that the project complied with the current Rules and Regulations, identifying the correct application of technical solutions and safety procedures taking into account the medical requirements indicated by the ASL and the urgency to find a means of helping authorities and the National Health System to address the fight against Covid-19.

M / n Splendid was equipped in a record time to deal with a health emergency, and after just two weeks from the very first concept idea, the first patient was onboard In this phase. The project took off with the first slot of 25 beds in single cabins, immediately followed by a second slot of 25 beds in single cabins, although it is possible to quickly equip additional cabins up to a total of 400 beds and further hospital capability.



The "hospital ship" that GNV shipping company prepared for the Ligurian public health system was delivered to the Ligurian Region Governorate, transforming the M / n Splendid into an equipped facility to provide assistance to Covid-19 positive patients, including those in hospital discharge who are required to spend a period in controlled structures before returning to their homes.

The validation of the project took place following the checks carried out by the Ligurian Public Health System and the Civil Protection, which ascertained that the M / n Splendid, following the adaptation works, had all the characteristics to perform the required functions.

In particular, in addition to the presence of an infirmary with beds and first aid equipment, the ship allows the isolation of the individual cabins, all configured with totally independent external ventilation. Together with the cabins, some separate accesses and areas have been set up, dedicated to healthcare personnel and crew, organized in such a way as to guarantee suitable standards, comfort and flexibility of use. In case of need, the configuration of the M / n Splendid allows the further expansion of the project thanks to the preparation of resuscitation and intensive care units with modular units in the ship's garage decks. The garage decks are in fact, sheltered and easily accessible places, already provided with electrical power supply, dedicated and separated ventilation and connected to a contained sewage system. The possibility to arrange a field hospital in garage deck allows the possibility to load emergency vehicles and to shift easily the “hospital” in the most affected places.

Enrico Ursomando