Ocean Explorer News

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…

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.

15 Oct 2019

Interview: Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO CMRE

Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO CMRE. Photo: CMRE

At CMRE, it’s not just about the science. It’s about building trust and confidence in resilient systems. An interview with Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, ItalyTell us a little about yourself and CMRE. What does CMRE do, and how do you see your mission evolving?I came here from the Pentagon, where I was the science advisor for the director of operational test and evaluation. My experience has been working with operators on systems that they’re getting ready to field.

19 Sep 2019

SunStone Cuts Steel for Ocean Explorer

Pic: SunStone Ships

SunStone Ships oversaw the steel cutting of Ocean Explorer, the fourth Infinity-class vessel in the class, at China Merchants Heavy Industry yard in Haimen.With a goal of marrying European design and quality with Chinese ship-building efficiency, the Infinity class delivers cutting-edge design, innovations like X-bow technology, and significant operating efficiencies, said a press release form the largest tonnage provider in the expedition market.SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund…

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…

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…

23 Apr 2019

NOAA Intros New OceanReports Tool

Image: NOAA

A new web-based interactive tool for ocean mapping and planning created by NOAA and the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, will give everyone from ocean industries to coastal managers, students, as well as the general public the opportunity to be an ocean explorer from their own computer.U.S. ocean waters comprise nearly four million square miles and is one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) in the world. Now, when users outline any area in the U.S.

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…

28 Feb 2019

Ulstein Bags SunStone Ship Order

Representatives from SunStone (Owner), CMHI (yard), Tillberg (interior designer), Ulstein Design & Solutions (Ship designer and Equipment package Supplier), and Makinen (Interior Supplier). Photo: Ulstein Group ASA

Norwegian ship designer Ulstein has received a contract to design the fourth expedition cruise vessel for Miami-based SunStone Ships, in their Infinity series.The vessel, which will be constructed at the China Merchants Heavy Industries (CMHI)  yard in China, is a CX103 design featuring the X-BOW and designed by Ulstein Design & Solutions.The SunStone ship design contracts were the first cruise contracts for Ulstein, a ship design company with long experience from the offshore industry.

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…

11 Sep 2018

Oceana Goes to London to Protect UK Seas

Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director, Oceana Europe. Photo: Oceana

Oceana, the largest international ocean advocacy organisation, has opened the organisation’s office in London to strengthen Oceana’s policy and research work to protect marine life and restore fish populations in the United Kingdom (UK).“Oceana is joining the marine conservation community in the UK at a turning point in public engagement and concern for the oceans. Now we need to move beyond conserving the oceans to actually restoring marine life and rebuilding fish populations…

03 Apr 2017

HMAS Darwin Farewells the West

HMAS Darwin at Fleet Base West for the last time. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The call of 'last line!' meant a little more than normal as HMAS Darwin slipped from the wharf at Fleet Base West and set sail for Sydney recently. It signalled the end of the warship's long association with the west coast of Australia, unlikely to return before she decommissions at the end of the year. The Adelaide class frigate called Western Australia home for almost 13 years from 18 December 1993, before being relocated to Fleet Base East on 21 April 2006. Darwin's Maritime Logistics Officer…

28 Mar 2017

Navy on the Record Response to Andrew Greene Reporting

HMAS Choules sits at anchor off the coast of Darwin during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Recent reporting by the ABC that “Navy's largest ships unable to join Cyclone Debbie emergency response amid engine troubles” is misleading, said TW Barrett, AO, CSC, Vice Admiral, RAN, Chief of Navy. To assert, as the ABC did in its reporting that issues with HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide has impacted on Defence providing support to anticipated disaster relief support in North Queensland is wrong. Under the Australian Defence Force's regular planning cycle, HMAS Choules assumed…

24 Mar 2017

Cristobal Colon Arrives in Sydney

ESPS Christobal Colon of the Spanish Amarda arrives in Sydney Harbour. The crew of ESPS Christobal Colon will be helping to train and familiarise crew's of Australia's Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMA Ships Darwin, Melbourne and Parramatta have escorted the Spanish Armada's Cristobal Colon into Sydney Harbour as part of her role in providing platform and familiarisation training to Australian personnel. Over the next three months the ship will assist in enabling Australian Navy people to have advance training for Australia's first Aegis Guided Missile Destroyer, Hobart. Commanding Officer Hobart Captain John Stavridis said the opportunity to embark in Cristobal Colon presented…

21 Mar 2017

Australian Navy: Torpedo Firings on the Mark

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy has tested its primary anti-submarine warfare weapon during Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER off the coast of Western Australia recently. HMAS Melbourne, with the support of Collins class submarine HMAS Dechaineux, conducted three exercise firings of its MU90 torpedo. Staff Officer Force Anti-Submarine Warfare Lieutenant Commander Chris Straughan from the Australian Maritime Warfare Centre embarked in Melbourne for the trial. Lieutenant Commander Straughan said the torpedo was designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine.

15 Mar 2017

Adelaide’s Fighting Edge Tested

HMAS Adelaide leads a close formation of warships from the Royal Australian Navy, Royal New Zealand Navy and the Spanish Armada during a photographic exercise, part of Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER 17, off the western coast of Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy’s amphibious ship HMAS Adelaide lead from the front during the recent Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER. Exercising task group operations off the Western Australian coast, the landing helicopter dock was the centrepiece to war-fighting scenarios. En-route to the ‘war-zone’, the crews of Australian, New Zealand and Spanish Navies experienced realistic attacks by ‘enemy’ cruise missiles from aircraft and ground-based locations during the high-end warfare serials. During the first air-strike…

08 Mar 2017

Warfighting Women Winning at Sea

Seaman Boatswain's Mate Paige Powers makes a new heaving line on the Gun Direction Platform of HMAS Parramatta, during Exercise Ocean Explorer 17, off the coast of Western Australia. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

Sailing on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia in a Royal Australian Navy frigate is just another day in the life of Seaman Boatswain's Mate Paige Powers. After completing her initial recruit training at HMAS Cerberus in Westernport, Victoria, Seaman Powers underwent category training at Seamanship School in order to become a qualified Boatswain's Mate. Seaman Powers is now an important member of HMAS Parramatta’s ship’s company. “As a Boatswain's Mate, I specialise in a number of small weapons and I’m involved in ship’s husbandry and the seamanship side of things,” she said.

07 Mar 2017

Multi-Nation Naval Exercise in Australia

An embarked MRH-90 helicopter from HMAS Adelaide conducts a vertical replenishment, as HMAS Success transfers fuel to Adelaide during Exercise Ocean Explorer 17. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Warships from Australia, Italy, New Zealand and Spain are currently exercising off the Western Australian coast honing war-fighting skills and enhancing joint operating procedures. The multi-national maritime task group, consisting of more than 17 ships and aircraft, is encountering fictitious threats from the air, on the surface and underwater to train personnel with skills they need in battle. Amphibious giant, HMAS Adelaide is the Command and Control platform and is the floating office for the Officer Conducting the Exercise and Commander of the Task Group, Commodore Mal Wise.

24 Feb 2017

Navies Training to Fight off the Western Australian Coast

Photo: Royal Australian Navy

More than 17 ships and aircraft are descending on the Western Australian coast for one of the largest maritime warfare exercises held by the Royal Australian Navy. The inaugural Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER will include some international participants, adding the opportunity to practice war fighting with language, customs and technology differences. The Spanish Armada’s ESPS Cristobal Colon, as well as New Zealand’s HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and Endeavour and, for a brief period, Italian frigate ITS Caribiniere will all integrate into the Australian scenarios.

24 Feb 2017

Aussie Navy Trains to fight

Anzac-class frigate, HMAS Anzac (150) sailing through Cockburn Sound, Western Australia, as part of Exercise Ocean Explorer 17. Photo RAN

More than 17 ships and aircraft are descending on the Western Australian coast for one of the largest maritime warfare exercises held by the Royal Australian Navy. The inaugural Exercise Ocean Explorer will include international participants, adding the opportunity to practice war fighting with language, customs and technology differences. The Spanish Armada’s ESPS Cristobal Colon, New Zealand’s HMNZ Ships Te Kaha and Endeavour and, for a brief period, Italian frigate ITS Caribiniere will all integrate into the Australian scenarios.

20 Feb 2017

Melbourne Celebrates 25 Years of Service

HMAS Melbourne crew celebrates the 25th anniversary of Melbourne's commissioning at Fleet Base East after a successful first of class flight trials period. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

HMAS Melbourne has celebrated 25 years since she entered service with the Royal Australian Navy, proving her motto, ‘She gathers strength as she goes’. The guided missile frigate has steamed more than 1.5 million kilometres - about 37 times the earth’s circumference - and clocked up almost 62,000 hours underway, since commissioning on 15 February 1992 at Station Pier, Melbourne. Commanding Officer Commander Charles Bourne said the frigate still plays a pivotal role in the Australian fleet.

19 Feb 2017

HMAS Anzac Transits to Fleet Base West

HMAS Anzac conducts a Replenishment at Sea with HMAS Success in the Southern Ocean. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian Navy's HMAS Anzac commenced her recent transit to Fleet Base West alone, meeting with sister frigate HMAS Parramatta in Jervis Bay. For some such as Lieutenant James Keagan, Reserve Entry Officers’ Course member, it was their first real exposure to ship life. Having never set foot on a ship before, he was both nervous and excited to be exposed to a workup and naval life in general. He found that damage control ashore during initial training was vastly different to the reality at sea. “Damage control at sea is so much more complex than it was at HMAS Creswell,” he said.

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