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Damen and Expedition Voyage Consultants team up to develop expedition ship

Damen and Expedition Voyage Consultants team up to develop expedition ship
In response to interest from clients in the fast-growing expedition cruise market, Damen has teamed up with Expedition Voyage Consultants Ltd to develop a cruise ship with capacity for around 100 passengers.

Damen has built over 5,500 vessels, including complex vessels such as  passenger ships, offshore patrol vessels, sail training vessels and superyachts. EVC has decades of expedition knowledge operating voyages from the polar regions to the remotest tropical islands.

The final design will be unveiled in the autumn.

Capable of visiting virtually any destination, the design will offer cruise lines the option of including activities such as helicopter operations and submersible diving alongside traditional small boat landings and watersports, commented Henk Grunstra, product director, Damen.

The move is driven by the fast growing expedition cruise sector, which has seen unprecedented expansion into remote destinations.  'Expedition cruising requires small, comfortable and highly capable vessels that customers can be confident in, no matter if they are cruising Polynesia or the Northwest Passage. With the existing tonnage aging and environmental regulations tightening, it is important that operators have vessels they can rely on well into the future,' said Grunstra.

This partnership follows a cooperation with EVC’s sister company, EYOS Expeditions, which resulted in Damen developing a Polar Code compliant expedition yacht - the 65 to 100mtr SeaXplorer range.

Ben Lyons, ceo of EVC and EYOS Expeditions said: 'This vessel will be capable of taking expedition cruise passengers beyond the usual range in terms of both geography and experience. The vessel’s high ice capability and endurance make her globally capable, and she will be equally at home in the tropics or polar waters. She is designed to be a multi-functional platform equipped with all of the tools an operator might need.'