Greg Mortimer News

12 May 2020

Uruguay to Evacuate Crew of Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

© Maxi Alonso / MarineTraffic.com

The 86 crew members of the Greg Mortimer cruise ship, stranded in Uruguayan waters since March 27, began their evacuation to Montevideo on Tuesday following an outbreak of the new coronavirus on board, the government said.At least 37 positive cases of coronavirus were detected in the last several days, officials said, preventing plans for the ship to travel to the Spanish port of Las Palmas, the original planned destination for the tourist trip, which is operated by Australian…

15 Apr 2020

Uruguay Repatriating Passengers from Coronavirus-hit Cruise Ship

Greg Mortimer (File photo: Damen)

The repatriation of the final 15 passengers from the Greg Mortimer cruise ship, stranded in Uruguayan waters since March 27 due to an outbreak of the coronavirus on board, will take place on Wednesday afternoon, the government said.A medical plane will take the current 14 occupants of the ship, and another passenger to be discharged from a clinic in capital city Montevideo to Miami, where they will get on connecting flights to their homes in the United States, Britain, Sweden, France, Holland, Canada and Switzerland.The Uruguayan Foreign Ministry said the ship will dock at Montevideo.

13 Apr 2020

Uruguay Transports Australians, New Zealanders from Virus-Hit Cruise Ship

Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship - Image by Skye Marr Whelan - MarineTraffic

Uruguay started on Friday to repatriate 112 Australians and New Zealanders from a cruise ship hit by coronavirus and stranded in the La Plata River near the capital of Montevideo since March 27, the government said.The operation began in the evening when the Greg Mortimer, an Antarctic cruise ship operated by Aurora Expeditions, docked in the port of Montevideo.The passengers, most of whom have tested positive for the coronavirus, went by bus to a special airport terminal with strict health controls.

19 Mar 2020

SunStone's Ocean Victory Launched

(Photo: Ulstein)

The third ship in SunStone Ships' INFINITY series was launched on Monday at the CMHI Haimen shipyard in China.Ocean Victory, though a sister vessels to the first vessel in the INFINITY series, Greg Mortimer, the latest newbuild differs from in several ways, reflecting the flexibility of the design series, according to Ulstein Design & Solutions, who is providing the design and equipment package to this project. Ocean Victory is the second exploration cruise vessel built at the yard to feature the ULSTEIN X-BOW…

15 Jan 2020

Keel of Ocean Explorer Laid

Ocean Explorer, vessel number 4 in the INFINITY class. Image: Ulstein

Chinese cruise shipbuilding company CMHI Haimen yard carried out the keel laying ceremony for the 'Ocean Explorer'. This is the fourth ULSTEIN X-BOW design in the INFINITY class of expedition cruise vessels that the U.S. based shipowner SunStone Ships has contracted to CMHI.The 'Ocean Explorer' is based on the ULSTEIN CX103 design featuring the X-BOW® by Ulstein Design & Solutions.The INFINITY Class vessels are 104,4 m long and 18,4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 264…

09 Jan 2020

Aurora Expeditions Christens Sylvia Earle

Image: Ulstein

Aurora Expeditions, the luxury cruise company that offers services to Antarctica and Arctic,  will build a second expedition ship, the Sylvia Earle, scheduled to debut in October 2021.The 126-passenger vessel  named ‘Sylvia Earle’, to honor the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer.The order comes shortly after the Australia-based company introduced its first new expedition ship in 2019, the Greg Mortimer, named for the Australian mountaineer and Aurora’s founder.The new ship is one of the vessels in owner, SunStone Ships’, INFINITY class.

12 Nov 2019

DMC Steering System for Sunstone

Pic: Damen Marine Components (DMC)

Netherlands-based Damen Marine Components (DMC) will supply the rudders and steering gear for SunStone Ships' fifth Infinity-class polar expedition cruise ship.The 200-passenger vessel will be built by China Merchants Heavy Industries to an Ulstein design. The contract was awarded once again by propulsion specialist Brunvoll Volda, with whom DMC is working on this ongoing series.DMC will supply two Van der VeldenATLANTIC rudders and two Van der Velden COMMANDER rotary vane steering gear systems.

14 Nov 2019

DMC Chosen for SunStone’s Fifth Infinity-Class Vessel

Photo: DMC

Damen Marine Components (DMC) received acontract to supply the rudders and steering gear for the fifth Infinity-class vessel to be built for SunStone Ships by China Merchants Heavy Industries to an Ulstein design. The contract was awarded by Brunvoll Volda, with whom DMC is working on this ongoing series.DMC will supply two Van der Velden ATLANTIC rudders and two Van der Velden COMMANDER rotary vane steering gear systems. The ATLANTIC is a full-spade rudder with a surface area of eight square meters and steering gear torque of 110 kNm.

30 Oct 2019

First Feedback From First X-BOW Expedition Cruise Vessel

Photo: Ulstein Group

The first ULSTEIN X-BOW polar cruise vessel, ‘Greg Mortimer’ is about to set off for her first Antarctica expedition, and will cross the notorious Drake Passage on November 1. The X-BOW feature reduces the slamming in head seas. This was proven on the vessel’s transit from China to Argentina, when she entered 10m high waves and very strong winds.The vessel is a true globetrotter from birth, having been developed on four continents: The ship owner SunStone Ships is based in the U.S.…

11 Sep 2019

China-Built Cruiser Delivered to Sunstone

Photo: SunStone

China Merchants Heavy Industry has delivered an expedition cruise vessel to SunStone Ships, the first of its next-genn INFINITY-class vessel and perhaps more significantly China's firm entrance into the cruise ship building sector.The arrangement to bring this ship from drawing board to delivery slip is the culmination of marrying European cruise design and quality with Chinese ship-building efficiency. The vessel will be chartered out to Aurora Expeditions.https://www.marinelink.com/news/cruise-ship-construction-china-rising-438788The vessel has departed China Merchants Heavy Industry…

06 Sep 2019

First X-BOW Polar Vessel Ready to Explore

Photo: Ulstein Group

The first expedition cruise vessel in SunStone’s INFINITY class series was named ‘Greg Mortimer’ at the China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) Haimen base on September 6, 2019. The vessels have been designed and developed by Norway-based Ulstein Design & Solutions together with the ship’s owner and their client, Aurora Expeditions. The vessel has been delivered and is all set for her first Antarctica venture.In the combined naming and delivery ceremony, the vessel received her name after Greg Mortimer…

03 Jun 2019

SunStone Orders 7th Newbuild

Photo: SunStone Ships

Florida-based designer and developer of next-generation expedition ships  SunStone Ships has signed an agreement for the construction of its seventh Infinity-class ship in Hong Kong, China.The seventh vessel now ordered has a long-term charter agreement in place, this vessel will be delivered in September 2021."We have been moving along steadily with ordering and building the Infinity Class Vessel, continuing with the European designed, Chinese built concept," said a statement from the company.Infinity Class new-builds underway include the GREG MORTIMER…

14 Apr 2019

SunStone Orders Sixth Newbuild in China

Pic: SunStone Ships, Inc.

Miami-based SunStone Ships signed to build a sixth Infinity-class expedition vessel in China, continuing the European designed, Chinese built concept.The passengership operator said in a press release that it already has a long-term charter agreement in place. Delivery is set for September 2021.SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund, commented, “We have worked diligently in obtaining the long term charters and shipbuilding orders for the Infinity Class vessels and we continue to move forward with the contracts and building at a very satisfactory speed…

26 Mar 2019

Can the Cruise Shipping Boom Continue?

MSC Cruises, the industry’s largest privately owned company, is in the midst of a $13 billion expansion which will bring its fleet, following the delivery of MSC Meraviglia in 2017, to 25 vessels by the mid 2020’s. Still on order are four Meraviglia class ships. Photo: MSC

As the global cruise industry enjoys it most robust period of growth ever, the question invariably becomes: How long can it last?Cruising, which is a blend of the hospitality and maritime businesses, continues to grow at a historic pace. The Cruise Trends & Industry Outlook publication from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) projects a passenger count of 30 million in 2019 – up nearly 2 million from the previous year. By year end 2019 CLIA members – a veritable ‘who’s who’ of the largest brands – will have 272 vessels…

13 Mar 2019

SunStone's Greg Mortimer Launched in China

The Ulstein representatives at the launch ceremony. Image: Ulstein

The launching ceremony of the ‘Greg Mortimer’, the first polar expedition cruise vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series, was held in the morning of 12 March at the CMHI yard, China.The steel cutting ceremony of ship number three in the series was also arranged yesterday, said a press release from Ulstein Group ASA, Norway based ship designer.The cruise operator, Aurora Expeditions, has chartered the vessel, and named her after their founder, Greg Mortimer, who also attended yesterday’s launch ceremony.According to Xianpu Hu…

13 Nov 2018

Sunstone Orders More Cruise Ships in China

 3D renderings of the GREG MORTIMER, the first new building.

SunStone Ships continues to break new ground in the specialty/expedtion cruise sector with the announcement of the signing of an agreement to build another two Infiity class vessels in China. According to SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund, “Our charterers are anxious to enjoy the advantages of our cutting-edge technology, like the Xbow design, along with the significant operating efficiencies offered by the INFINITY Class. So, we’re moving as quickly as possible to get…

07 Nov 2018

SunStone Orders Third Expedition Cruise Vessel at CMHI Yard

Signing of the third SunStone Ships contract on a vessel in the INFINITY class. Photo: Ulstein Design & Solutions

Miami-based  SunStone Ships has declared option number two at CMHI shipyard after signing a long-term charter contract with Victory Cruise Line for the vessel, with a total of three newbuilds now under construction at the Chinese yard.A press release from the manager of passenger ships across the globe said that it  originally placed one firm contract and nine options on Ulstein deliveries of expedition cruise vessel designs and equipment packages back in 2017.All ten vessels are part of SunStone Ships’ series of vessels in the ‘INFINITY-class’.

05 Oct 2018

SunStone Orders Second Expedition Cruise Ship

(Image: Ulstein Design & Solutions AS)

U.S. based SunStone Ships has exercised an option to order a second expedition cruise vessel to be built in China and scheduled for delivery in August 2020.The new order comes under a design and equipment contract SunStone signed with Ulstein Design & Solutions AS in 2017 that included options for up to nine X-BOW expedition cruise vessels. Ulstein, whose contract is with the China Merchants Group (CMG), is responsible for the delivery of the design and equipment package.Construction of the first vessel…

26 Jun 2018

Expedition Cruising: Full Speed Ahead in China

Talk of trade wars and politics aside, attention should be paid to a growing relationship between U.S.-based SunStone Ships, Inc. and Chinese shipyard China Merchants Heavy Industries in Haimen, China, as the pair is quietly growing a cruise shipbuilding business in China. Sunstone announced that on June 12, 2018, the keel was laid for the first Infinity Class vessel Greg Mortimer, the first in a series that could eventually total 10 high-spec expedition cruise vessels.Greg Mortimer…

20 Jun 2018

Cruise Ship Construction: China Rising

China earns cruise newbuild business, aims for ship financeWhile China has steadily built shipbuilding market share, cruise ship construction –  more specifically mastering the logistical complexities inherent in cruise ship design, outfit and construction – has proved elusive. But it appears that Chinese shipbuilders have turned the corner, with contracts signed for the first cruise newbuilds. We were in Tianjin, China, earlier this year for the 4th Annual China Maritime Finance Forum for a look behind the covers of passenger vessel in China…

06 Jun 2018

SunStone Orders Third Expedition Ship from China

3D rendering of an Infinity class ship (Image: SunStone Ships)

SunStone Ships, Inc. announced it has finalized an agreement with shipbuilder China Merchants Industry Holdings Co. Ltd. to build a third Infinity class expedition cruise vessel, to be named Ocean Victory. The newbuild is scheduled to be delivered in March 2021.SunStone’s President & CEO, Niels-Erik Lund, commented, “We are pleased with the rapid adoption of the Infinity-class vessels. It seems our European design and technology, combined with lower overall operating costs ticks…

22 Feb 2018

Adventure Bound: Sunstone Ships Climbs to New Heights

Niels-Erik Lund (Image: SunstoneShips Inc.)

Niels-Erik Lund began his passenger ship career in 1969 as a trainee in a Danish passenger shipping company, DFDS. In the nearly 50 years since, the passenger and cruise shipping industry has changed many times over, with consistent growth being the only similarity between then an now. Today Lund, President & CEO of Sunstone Ships, Inc., has an unfettered view of the expedition cruise sector that he helped to create. With the expedition and luxury cruise segments set for fast growth, Maritime Reporter spoke to Lund to help put the market in better perspective.

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