SunStone Orders Second Expedition Cruise Ship
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, Greg Mortimer, is underway at the CMG's China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) shipyard, and is set to sail off for her first cruise after her completion in the fourth quarter of 2019. This vessel, as well as the next, have been chartered by the Australian Aurora Expeditions.
The ULSTEIN CX103 expedition cruise ship is 104.3 meters long and 18.4 meters wide. The SunStone vessels are part of the Infinity Class, in which the passenger capacity can range from 130 to 200, and the crew capacity from 85 to 115. The hull will be built according to Polar Code 6, Category B, with dynamic positioning system and zero-speed stabilizers. All main equipment is from manufacturers in Europe.
The expedition cruise vessels are the first of their kind in which the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull design has been implemented. According to the designer, the shape of the X-BOW enables the passengers to stand at the bow and look directly down to where the waves meet the hull. The bow leads to reduced ship movements, and therefore a more comfortable stay. The X-BOW has a tapered fore ship shape to pierce waves of all heights, resulting in reduced pitching and bow impact loads in rough seas. It prevents the vessel from rising on the waves and dropping violently onto the water’s surface. The vessel needs less fuel to cut through the waves, reducing fuel costs and energy use, and thus reducing emissions.
The vessel’s layout is designed for indoor excellence and outdoor experiences. Observation decks and balconies offer a range of views to the spectacular surroundings. A high class restaurant and bar serve all-day delicacies and refreshments.
“We decided to partner up with Ulstein due to their hull and the technical design, as well as their site team in China to supervise the production,” said Niels-Erik Lund, President/CEO SunStone Ships when announcing the first vessel.
Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO in Ulstein Group and COO Design & Solutions commented, “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.”