Miami-based SunStone Ships has declared the first of a possible nine options to build a second expedition cruise vessel to an Ulstein Design & Solutions’ X-BOW expedition cruise vessel specification.
Construction of the first vessel, already named Greg Mortimer, is underway at China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) and is due to set sail on its first cruise in the last quarter of 2019. When the second vessel is delivered from CMHI in August 2020, it will join the Greg Mortimer on charter to Australia’s Aurora Expeditions.
SunStone’s Infinity-class of expedition cruise ship is based on the Ulstein CX103 design with a length of 104.3m and a breadth of 18.4m. The Polar Code 6, Category B ships have dynamic positioning and zero-speed stabilisers. Passenger capacity can range from 130 to 200, and crew numbers from 85 to 115.
“It was of utmost importance that we developed an expedition cruise vessel of high quality with proven design and technology,” declared Niels-Erik Lund, president and CEO of SunStone Ships when announcing the first vessel. “Ulstein has designed more than 105 vessels with the X-BOW design. These hulls have been developed for rough weather, high comfort and great fuel efficiency.”
Ulstein Group’s deputy CEO, Tore Ulstein, said: “We are pleased that SunStone starts to declare their options with CMHI. This shows that our designs and solutions fulfil their expectations. In addition to the design and equipment package, we will support the yard with a site team. This includes pre-commissioning and commissioning, testing and sea trial assistance.”