Ulstein Design & Solutions introduced its first design plans within the expedition cruise segment three years ago.
With the latest contract by Lindblad (see elsewhere), the company has been awarded six firm ship contracts, and options for another six.
Ulstein has won orders from Lindblad and SunStone, with whom the company claims to have good and constructive co-operation. “This creates the foundation for an important learning experience,” said Tore Ulstein, Ulstein’s COO Design & Solutions.”With 12 contracts, including options on expedition cruise vessels in three years, we have now consolidated a strong position as expedition cruise designers.”.
The patented X-BOW hull line design is a feature that makes Ulstein vessels stand out from the crowd, the shipbuilder claimed. This design splits the waves and removes the slamming and associated vibrations, increasing comfort for passengers and crew. And because it uses less fuel, it also helps to save energy and reduce emissions.
Reduced accelerations and slamming forces mean less wear and tear on equipment, creating a perfect platform for an expedition cruise. Even in tough conditions the X-BOW creates little spray, leaving the decks dry.
The vessel will also have more capacity in the upper bow area, space which can be used for observation lounges, bars and other leisure areas, the company claimed.
Some stretches of water, such as the Drake passage, can be challenging. With the X-BOW, there is a lesser need to reduce speed, and timetables will be more easily kept, while still keeping the conditions comfortable on board.
Ove Dimmen, sales responsible for cruise vessels in Ulstein Design & Solutions said that the interest in Ulstein’s expedition cruise designs was immediate after the company published its first design plans.
In addition to the X-BOW, the vessels also have a number of built-in qualities to reduce emissions and increase the operational safety.
“As an example, all Ulstein designed vessels are compliant with the latest ‘Safe Return to Port’ regulations, which in short means that the vessel is divided in separate zones where all critical machinery and systems are duplicated in order to safely be able to return to port after an incident like flooding or fire,” Dimmen said.
He added; “Furthermore, the vessels have controlled waste heat recovery systems from the machinery, and energy recovery from the ventilation exhaust, in order to minimise the energy consumption and thereby emissions.
“The power station automatically adapts to the power demand to ensure optimal operations and the vessel will not use any heavy fuel oils but operate solely on diesel and has catalytic converters or other means of exhaust gas cleaning.
“Vessels developed by Ulstein will improve comfort for the passengers, but our designs will also minimise the environmental footprint and make this way of travelling a greener and safer option for the future,” he concluded.