Ulstein Design & Solutions AS in Norway won a design and equipment contract for an X-BOW expedition cruise vessel from SunStone Ships in Miami last year. The contract included nine options and the first one has now been declared, Ulstein said in a statement.
The first vessel for SunStone, which has received the name ‘Greg Mortimer’, is well underway at the CMHI (China Merchants Heavy Industry) yard, and is set to sail off for her first cruise after her completion in Q4 2019. This vessel, as well as the next one, have been chartered by the Australian Aurora Expeditions.
“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.
He stated: “It was of utmost importance that we developed an expedition cruise vessel of high quality and with proven design and technology. 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.”
Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO in Ulstein Group and COO Design & Solutions comments: "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. When the SunStone vessels start cruising, we believe they will be highly attractive to the expedition cruise passengers"
Ulstein’s contract is with the China Merchants Group (CMG), China, and the vessels will be built at their yard. This second ship is scheduled for delivery in August 2020. Ulstein is responsible for the delivery of the design and equipment package with all main equipment being of proven technology and from well-known manufacturers in Europe.
The expedition cruise vessels are the first of their kind in which the ULSTEIN X-BOW® hull design has been implemented. 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.
It's not just the X-BOW® that makes these ships stand out. The 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.
The ULSTEIN CX103 expedition cruise ship is 104.3 metres long and 18.4 metres 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.
The Chairman of Blue Star Line, Clive Palmer confirmed in London this week that work has recommenced by Blue Star Line to build Titanic ll and to put Titanic ll into service on the London – New York route across the Atlantic.
Clive Palmer last announced progress on the Titanic ll project in 2015 when work was suspended due to his flagship company, Mineralogy, being in dispute with Chinese Government owned Citic Limited over the non-payment of hundreds of millions of dollars of royalties owed to Palmer companies.
“Citic Limited was just exporting millions of dollars of Mineralogy resources and refusing to pay for them,” Palmer said. In late 2017 the Western Australian Supreme Court ordered that Citic Limited pay hundreds of millions of dollars in back royalty payments to Blue Star Line’s parent company Mineralogy. Blue Star Line has the support of its holding company to build and operate Titanic ll. Each year Citic is required to continue to make substantial royalty payments.
Palmer confirmed that the financial constraints brought about by the failure of Citic to pay Mineralogy its financial entitlements were responsible for work on the project being suspended. Now those matters have been resolved, work has recommenced to build and operate Titanic ll.
Palmer was in London to confirm and issue a video showing the final technical specifications of the ship.
“Blue Star Line will create an authentic Titanic experience, providing passengers with a ship that has the same interiors and cabin layout as the original vessel, while integrating modern safety procedures, navigation methods and 21st century technology to produce the highest level of luxurious comfort,’’ Palmer said.
“Titanic II is a unique project that will generate unprecedented international exposure and public interest.
“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits.
“Titanic ll will offer exclusive rights for global partners to leverage the Titanic ll brand for use in their licensing, advertising and marketing campaigns.
“Blue Star Line will deliver unparalleled global reach for our partners’ brands and products, penetrating a diverse range of markets across the world.
“In 1912 the Titanic was the ship of dreams. For over a century Titanic’s legend has been powered by mystery, intrigue and respect for all she stood for.
“Millions have dreamt of sailing on her, seeing her in port and experiencing her unique majesty. Titanic ll will be the ship where those dreams come true,’’ Palmer said.
Palmer’s projects and companies have been responsible for creating over 60,000 jobs in Australia over the last 30 years.
See what Titanic ll will look like, deck by deck, with highlights of key features here:
Sven Lindblad, CEO & President of Lindblad Expeditions, unveiled the world’s most advanced polar expedition ship – the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance – at a live video conference on September 27. He was joined by key members of the line’s ship building and expedition team including Trey Byus, Chief Expedition Officer (CXO); Nikolaos Doulis, Senior VP of Marine Builds, and Captain Leif Skog, VP of Nautical. The panel of experts discussed the ship’s innovative design and development, unveiled interior renderings, and the inaugural Arctic itineraries following her early 2020 delivery.
The first new polar build in the line’s history, the ship was named to honor legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton, and embodies every innovation and concept Lindblad has developed in over 50+ years of pioneering expedition travel.
Fully stabilized with the highest ice class (PC5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel, National Geographic Endurance will provide unprecedented access to polar environments, opening up previously unexplored opportunities areas as well as allowing Lindblad to explore familiar geographies for longer. in polar environments.
The most striking feature of National Geographic Endurance is her distinctive profile, resulting from the patented X-Bow. Introduced by Lindblad’s Norwegian shipbuilder, Ulstein, this unique design affords the smoothest, most comfortable ride imaginable, in all sea behavior, which results in greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions for reduced environmental impact.
The X-Bow also significantly increases the joy of observing wildlife, enabling optimal forward and straight down-the-sides viewing – no leaning out over the deck rail required. The unobstructed downward sight lines, plus multiple walk-out areas from the Bridge, and Observation Lounge, and glass rails on the top deck create superb conditions for viewing and photography.
Sleek and powerful on the outside, National Geographic Endurance is quiet luxe in the best Scandinavian design tradition on the inside. Conceived by Partnership Design in Hamburg, the streamlined modernism of her welcoming Reception, distinctive style of her elevators and staircase, and pampering comfort of her public and private spaces, have been designed for guest ease. With a total of six guest decks, the ship has over 10,000 square feet of glass keeping guests constantly connected to the view.
National Geographic Endurance’s luxuriously appointed interiors are superlative from a design and hospitality perspective – and uphold Lindblad traditions: making community (the Lounge) and insight (the ‘Circle of Truth’ podium) the center of expedition life.
Fire and ice are twin themes throughout the ship, in the color schemes and the feelings engendered by her spaces—from the ‘chill’ cool of the Ice Lounge, the expedition community hub for Recap, talks, presentations and sociability with a B&H Photo Gear Locker for trying new tech; to the conversation-kindling warmth around the fireplace of The Den on the Observation Deck. Discover spa treatments and therapies at The Sanctuary. Stunning twin infinity Jacuzzis, saunas with million-dollar views, and a glass-walled yoga studio will transform the polar experience.
Elegantly imagined, with a sense of limitless space effortlessly incorporated into the design, the 13 extra large balcony suites - each named for a famous polar explorer - impart a feeling of serenity. Warm creams, oatmeal and coral, soft textures, round corners, art that invites the eye to linger and Lindblad’s signature feather duvets, plus a walk-in closet and roomy stone-clad baths make each suite a haven. Full-height windows and furnished balconies bring the scenery in. And in the 56 standard cabins, azure accents meet polar vistas at the windows for a feeling of expansive yet cozy space. Of the 56 standard cabins, 40 feature a balcony (including the 12 solo cabins). All of the 69 total cabins feature a sofa or reading chair, as well as the new “Command Center” with a National Geographic Atlas, barometer, analog clock, digital tablet with daily programming & a generous array of USB and universal electrical ports for cameras and devices, plus a retractable lighted vanity mirror.
Dining aboard National Geographic Endurance will be a far cry from what Shackleton experienced. Restaurant Two Seven Zeroº surrounds superb dining with stellar views. C. Green’s, named for Shackelton’s cook, offers an early riser breakfast, fresh salads and lighter fare, plus custom grilled selections at lunch and dinner. The Chef’s Table is an innovative approach to private dining. Over the course of each voyage, all guests aboard will be hosted by our Chef. Intimate and interactive, each dinner features ‘polar theater’ in the form of regionally inspired, sustainable, and inventive food. In addition, daily high tea, hors d’oeuvres at Recap, and BBQs in the heated outdoor Winter Garden round out the new level of dining.
The ship will feature a suite of Lindblad’s signature tools for exploration: fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, an ROV, hydrophones, video microscope, underwater video technology, a hyper-efficient Zodiac loading for ‘getting out there’ more swiftly and safely - plus more expedition enhancements to be announced soon.
In 2020 National Geographic Endurance embarks on a series of eight inaugural Arctic itineraries, to explore areas both familiar and brand new, presenting unprecedented opportunities to explore further. She will travel where few have gone, see what few have seen and experience what few can, venturing earlier and penetrate farther into the most adventurous regions. That’s what National Geographic Endurance is designed to do. A few highlights:
– Svalbard in Spring: Polar Bears, Arctic Light and Epic Ice - Voyage deep into Svalbard, the way few have. A true Arctic refuge – covered in snow, surrounded by sea ice, where polar bears freed from their winter sleep stalk seals on the ice. Be stunned by the astonishing lights as the spring sun mounts higher in the Arctic sky each day.
– Northeast Passage: An Unforgettable Voyage from Norway to Alaska - National Geographic Endurance roams free at the top of the world on this pioneering expedition, on one of the most untrammeled, adventurous routes in the High Arctic – including Franz Josef Land, Severnaya Zemlya, the barely explored Siberian coast, and Wrangel Island.
– East Greenland: Wild Shores of the High Arctic – As fiercely guarded as any kingdom, Greenland’s eastern coast is flanked by thousands of bergs calved from the massive ice sheet. It’s where we will enter the largest national park in the world – Northeast Greenland National Park – to find polar bears, seals, walrus; crevasse-laced glaciers; mountains made from some of the oldest rock art, and coastal villages where descendants of the greatest hunters and survivors our species has even know dwell.