The first expedition cruise vessel in SunStone’s ‘INFINITY’ class series was named ‘Greg Mortimer’ at the China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) Haimen shipyard on 6th September, 2019.
The vessels have been designed and developed by Norway-based Ulstein Design & Solutions together with the ship’s owner and the client, Aurora Expeditions.
In the combined naming and delivery ceremony, the vessel was named after ‘Greg Mortimer’, the founder of Aurora Expeditions, who has chartered the ship.
“The ship design contracts for SunStone Ships were a break-through for Ulstein in the expedition cruise market, and we are excited that our partner, the CMHI yard, now has delivered the first Chinese-built expedition cruise vessel. From Ulstein’s side, a strong effort has been put on understanding the demands of passengers and crews to design a vessel that is creating the best possible platform for a lasting experience,” said Tore Ulstein, COO Ulstein Design & Solutions and deputy CEO in Ulstein Group.
‘Greg Mortimer’ is the first, of potentially 10, Polar expedition cruise vessels for US-based SunStone Ships to be built at the CMHI yard, China. The vessel is the first expedition cruise ship to incorporate Ulstein’s patented X-BOW design, a bow hull design which leads to a smoother and more comfortable journey in head seas.
Less resistance in waves means that less fuel is needed to cut through the waves, hence a lower environmental footprint, the company said.
All vessels in the ‘INFINITY’ class will be customised to each client, as is also the case with the ‘Greg Mortimer’. Aurora’s team experts have been closely involved in the project, to ensure the best possible expedition vessel for their purpose and itineraries.
The 104 m ship is built to Polar Class 6 standards for sailing in cold waters. She is fitted with 80 passenger cabins with private bathrooms and balconies. Other facilities include a restaurant and a bar, a lecture room, a lounge, a 180 deg indoor observation deck and outdoor viewing areas.
Other highlights include a custom-designed platform for kayakers and divers, a dedicated sea-level Zodiac loading platform, and a mud room for day ventures. Side ports facilitate the loading and offloading of four Zodiacs simultaneously.