The first option for a second X-BOW expedition cruise ship for SunStone Ships out of a possible nine to be built at Ulstein has now been declared.
The first vessel building for SunStone, which is to be named ‘Greg Mortimer’, is well underway at the CMHI (China Merchants Heavy Industry) yard, and is set to sail for her first cruise after completion in 4Q19.
The second ship is due for delivery in August, 2020.
Both vessels have been chartered by the Australian-based 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 last year.
He said: “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, commented: “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 the Chinese yard. The Norwegian company is responsible for the delivery of the design and equipment package with all the main equipment being of proven technology and supplied by well-known European manufacturers.
The expedition cruise vessels are the first of their kind in which the patented ULSTEIN X-BOW hull design has been implemented. This enables passengers to stand at the bow and look directly down to where the waves meet the hull.
The bow also leads to reduced ship movements, and therefore a more comfortable trip. 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. As a result, the vessel needs less fuel to cut through the waves, reducing fuel costs and energy use, and thus reducing emissions.
The ULSTEIN CX103 expedition cruise ship design is 104.3 m long and 18.4 m wide. The SunStone vessels are part of the ‘Infinity Class’, in which the passenger capacity ranges 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 a dynamic positioning system and zero-speed stabilisers fitted.