Image Marine To Build 'True North'

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Image Marine has announced a contract for a live-aboard adventure vessel for North Star Cruises.The repeat contract demonstrates the confidence the client has in Image Marine’s expertise in this specialist field. North Star Cruises took delivery of its first live-aboard, the Image Marine-built ‘True North’, in January 1999. With capacity for 28 passengers in 14 cabins, the 34.5 metre vessel has proved hugely successful cruising the remote Kimberley region of North Western Australia and led to North Star Cruises’ reputation as one of the most renowned tourist operations in Australia. North Star Cruises Director, Mr Craig Howson said Image Marine was an obvious choice to build the vessel. “The performance of ‘True North’ has been outstanding and is a testament to the shipbuilding skills of the Image Marine team; their reputation in the live-aboard market is excellent and our experience with the company through our previous build certainly gave us the confidence to build with them again,” he said. As the supplier of live-aboard vessels, Image Marine has set industry benchmarks for quality and customisation. These characteristics are evident in previous completions such as the catamarans ‘Aqua Cat’ for Blackbeard’s Cruises in the United States, Mike Ball’s ‘Paradise Sport’ and the five star ‘Island Explorer’ for the Four Seasons Hotel in the Maldives. As one of the largest, most luxurious and best equipped vessels of its type in the world, the new ‘True North’ will set a new standard in the live-aboard market. The 49.9 metre, 36 berth aluminium monohull will provide North Star Cruises with capacity for eight more passengers than the existing vessel and greater space throughout, including four additional cabins. On board, North Star Cruises has upgraded the standard of cabins compared to the previous vessel, and offers three options; four premium staterooms on the upper deck, six staterooms on the main deck and eight large double cabins on the lower deck. Demonstrating the company’s commitment to maximising guests’ comfort and convenience, each cabin has its own en suite. The increased common area is split over two decks on the new vessel offering an alternative to the adjacent lounge-dining area on the original ‘True North’. Dining takes place on the main deck and the lounge-bar is located on the upper deck and opens onto an outdoor area, providing guests with a spectacular viewing platform on which to wind down after a day filled with fishing, diving and touring. The fitout onboard ‘True North’ will reflect the Asian influenced colonial charm of the Kimberley region, with a serviceable, workable space for its 15 crew, while ensuring a luxurious yet relaxing holiday-feel for guests. Scheduled for delivery in February 2005, the new ‘True North’ will cruise the Kimberley coast at 13 knots and, with a Bell 407 helicopter on the top deck and six tenders on board, guests will have greater flexibility in selecting a variety of on-shore activities and enjoying the spectacular scenery. “With our new vessel we can offer more clients more space and more luxury. Our previous boat has certainly served our operation well, but the new ‘True North’ will take the industry to a new level. It is the future of Kimberley cruising,” Mr Howson said.
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