Scheduled for delivery in August 2019, the 180-passenger expedition ship will be operated by Aurora Expeditions, Australia on a long-term, deck and engine timecharter.
‘We are pleased to have brought together world-class design from Tillberg, ground-breaking X-Bow technology from Ulstein, interior construction by Mäkinen and over a century of shipbuilding expertise from CMHI,’ commented Niels-Erik Lund, president & ceo, SunStone.
‘This dream team is helping us pioneer a new age of expedition cruising, and we are proud to be a part of it,’ he said.
X-Bow, Polar Code 6
The vessel has Ulstein's patented X-Bow design, zero-speed stabilizers and dynamic positioning, and will be buillt to Polar Code 6 (Ice Class 1A) and will operate Antarctic cruises in the austral summer and Arctic cruises in the northern summer.
The technical management will be the responsibility of Cruise Management International, Miami, while sister company CMI Leisure will provide hotel operations.
Representing Aurora Expeditions at the keel-laying ceremony were Neville Buch, chairman, and Robert Halfpenny, president.
Four firm orders plus six options
Also participating were representatives of the partners in all of the Infinity vessels ordered by SunStone in a framework agreement for four firm orders and six options: China Merchants Industry Holdings, China Merchants Heavy Industries, Ulstein Design and Solutions, Makinen-Finland, Tilberg Design-US, SunStone Ships and SunStone Marine Advisors-Miami.
SunStone Ships has firmed an agreement with CMHI for a second Infinity-class expedition ship, scheduled for delivery in August 2020, and a third to be named Ocean Victory, arriving in March 2021. Long-term charters for both vessels have been signed with undisclosed partners.
The rise of China's cruise shipbuilding and repair sectors will come under the spotlight at a 'Made in, and for, China' panel discussion during Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific taking place in Baoshan district of Shanghai, October 23-25.