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SunStone Ships takes delivery of Ocean Explorer, chartered to Vantage

Ocean Explorer sports Ulstein Design & Solutions' patented X-BOW hull form
China Merchants Heavy Industry delivered Ocean Explorer, the latest Infinity-class vessel, to SunStone Ships.

The vessel is chartered to Boston-based Vantage Travel for year-round, worldwide expedition cruise service.

European design, Chinese shipbuilding efficiency

The Infinity ships marry European design, including Ulstein Design & Solutions' patented X-BOW hull form, with Chinese shipbulding efficiency.

'We are very pleased with the quality and high building standards of China Merchants Heavy Industry, which are fully at the level of European Shipyards,' SunStone CEO Niels-Erik Lund said. 'We are looking forward to continuing our relationships with all our partners in the Infinity-class project and, even considering the COVID-19 world crisis, we are moving fast forward as planned at very satisfactory speed, safety and quality level.'

To enter service late August from Poole

Ocean Explorer is set to depart the Haimen shipyard shortly, en route for Manila, Philippines, to pick up crew. After a short stop in Malta to collect remaining hotel crew and supplies, the vessel will head to Poole in the UK to begin service in late August.

Infinity-class vessels measure 104 meters/341 feet long and 18 meters/59 feet at the beam, with a draft of 5.1 meters/16.7 feet. They have capacity for 130 to 200 passengers and 85 to 115 crew.

The vessels are Ice Class 1A, Polar Class 6 and have dynamic positioning and zero speed stabilizers. Facilities include a swimming pool, bar and restaurants, lounges, boutique, gym and spa.

Ocean Victory, Sylvia Earle to follow this year

2019's Greg Mortimer was the first in the series, followed by Ocean Explorer. Due next, both in 2021, are Ocean Victory and Sylvia Earle. Ocean Ocyssey and Ocean Albatros are to follow in 2022, and Ocean Discoverer in 2023. Long-term charters are in place for all the vessels.