• Having completed interior design and lay-out on the ship, Oliver Design is this month beginning fitting-out of all the inner areas of the ship
  • The Spanish firm, which specialises in naval design and architecture, is to send a team of up to 30 staff to Vigo for 11 months to put the final touches to the ship, which will be one of the largest in its class in the world
  • One of the most striking aspects is the meticulous design, featuring fine wood from the tropical rainforests of Indonesia. As well as being used to train the navy’s future officers, the ship will also play an ambassadorial role, acting as the country’s ‘ambassador’ at international events
  • The “Bima Suci”, which is due to be delivered next year, is a three-mast barque, with 3,350 square metres (36,000 square feet) of sail, length of 110 metres (360 ft.), beam of 12.6 metres (41 ft.) and a draught of 5.5 metres (18 ft.). It has five decks and can house a crew of 200
  • Oliver Design contributed actively on preparation of the tender submitted by Freire shipyards in Vigo (Spain), which won the international competition called by the Indonesian Ministry of Defence
  • The company, based in Getxo, Bizkaia, Spain has long experience in designing classic sailing ships, including the training ship “Unión” for the Peruvian navy, which came into service earlier this year

Bilbao, 11 July 2016

 Work has just begun on fitting out the interiors of the “Bima Suci”, a new sail training ship for the Indonesian navy, whose size and design will make it the most iconic vessel in the fleet. This phase of the construction is being undertaken by Oliver Design, headquartered in Getxo (Spain), which specialises in naval design and architecture. The firm is completing turnkey architectural design of the ship, which is currently under construction at the Freire Shipyards in Vigo.

The new training ship (a barque-rigged three-master) will replace the veteran “Kri Dewaruci”, built in Germany in 1953 and still in service, to become the new jewel in the crown of the country’s navy. It will perform duties as a “floating ambassador”, paying courtesy visits to ports around the world. The “Bima Suci” is named after one of the leading heroes of Javanese mythology, a symbol of force, bravery and righteousness.

Oliver Design’s part in the project is concentrated on the architectural design of the ship and the interior design – no easy task given that the “Bima Suci” has five decks and will have a crew of up to 200. The ship is 110 metres long with a beam of 5.5. metres (360 x 41 ft.). Particular attention has been paid to distribution of the mess rooms, cabins, offices, weapons locker, store rooms and all the services a crew of this size requires (sick bay, barber shop, laundry, etc.). There will also be dedicated spaces for training cadets and receiving visitors.

The architectural design covers every last detail, from a store for the ship’s band’s instruments, to a souvenir shop for visitors. There will be two bridges on the main deck, one for steering the ship and a second for training cadets.


Because this is a military vessel, the distribution is strictly hierarchical, with cadets and crew bunking in the lower decks, and instructors and officers housed under the main deck. The contract also requires meeting strict regulations on thermal and acoustic insulation and fireproofing, as well as demanding conditions on durability and ease of maintenance of the materials used.

Oliver Design not only designed the interiors; it is also in charge of building them. The work will begin this month at the Freire shipyard in Galicia and will include installation of insulation, under-flooring, decorative flooring, bulkheads, ceilings, furniture and a vast range of decorative details. The interiors are of particularly high quality, and the most representative areas of the vessel feature fine wood from the tropical rainforests of Indonesia in floors, carvings and furniture.

For this new phase in construction of the “Bima Suci”, the Basque firm is deploying a team of up to 30 people to Vigo, who will be working on the project for the next 11 months. The ship is due to be launched in September, and will be handed over to the Indonesian Navy by mid-2017.

Once commissioned, the “Bima Suci” will become one of the largest sailing ships of its kind in the world. With its three masts and a total sail surface of 3,350 square metres (36,000 ft.), it is 110 metres (360 ft.) in length and has a beam of 12.6 metres (41 ft.) and a draught of 5.5 metres (18 ft.). The largest naval training ship currently in service is Peru’s 115-metre “BAP Unión”, which came into service this year, in whose design and fitting-out Oliver Design were also involved.

Experience in designing classic sailings ships

Oliver Design has long experience in designing and fitting out classic sailing ships. Jaime Oliver, the firm’s founder and CEO, worked with the former Celaya shipyards on planning and construction of the training ships “Guayas” (Ecuador), “Gloria” (Colombia), “Simón Bolívar” (Venezuela) and “Cuauhtémoc” (Mexico), all built on Bilbao’s Nervion estuary in the 1970s and 1980s. Celaya, which was based on the waterfront in Erandio, closed in 1988, but its last director, Juan José Alonso, has been brought in as a consultant on the “Bima Suci” project.

In 2006, Oliver Design also participated in alteration and upgrade work to the Spanish navy’s “Juan Sebastián Elcano” and in the design and fitting-out of the “Corwith Cramer”, used to train students from the Sea Education Association, Boston University (USA). Other tall ship designs in which it has been involved included tourist and recreational vessels, such as the “Hamburg Tall Ship”, the “Germania Nova” (both German ships) and the “Sunset 88” (Swiss).

The contract for design and construction of the “Bima Suci” was signed in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in November 2013, following an international competition called by the country’s defence ministry, which attracted a dozen tenders. Freire shipyards’ successful tender was submitted with the collaboration of Oliver Design, who were responsible for the architectural design and interiors, and the German firm Detlev Loell & Partners, which will design and supply the rigging and sails. Construction of the vessel began in Vigo last October and the traditional keel-laying ceremony was held at the end of January (the keel is the longitudinal axis of the vessel on which the hull is built).

The new ship for training Indonesian Navy cadets will combine a classic design with the latest naval technologies. Its 1,300 kW main engine can reach speeds of 12 knots, with a maximum speed under sail of 15 knots. Like its predecessor, the ship will take part in international races and good-will missions.