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Sunstone takes delivery of latest X-BOW cruise ship

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Ocean Explorer, an Ulstein designed expedition cruise vessel featuring the iconic X-BOW, has been successfully delivered from the CMHI Haimen yard, China.

Norway-based Ulstein has delivered several expedition cruise ship designs for the SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series, all constructed at the CMHI yard. The Ocean Explorer will be operated by Vantage Cruise Line.

The first X-BOW vessel in the INFINITY series, the Greg Mortimer, was delivered in September 2019.

When signing up for these vessels, SunStone Ships’ President/CEO Niels-Erik Lund commented, “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”.

The construction has continued smoothly and there are two more vessels in the INFINITY series which are scheduled for delivery in 2021, and two for delivery in 2022.

“We have developed a vessel where the hull has been optimised for low fuel consumption with CFD analysis. In addition, we have implemented the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull line design, a solution firstly introduced to the offshore segment and only recently to the cruise industry. In addition to fuel savings, the X-BOW softens the movements in head seas, reducing slamming and vibrations, and increases the comfort and rest for passengers and crews,” said Lead Naval Architect Torill Muren, who has first-hand experience of the movements across the Drake Passage. Muren was an invitee on the Greg Mortimer’s Antarctica inaugural trip.

All the vessels in the INFINITY series have Tier III engines with SCR catalysts to reduce emissions. They run on low sulphur Marine Gas Oil (MGO), have heat recovery systems and LED lights. On top of this comes the waste-water treatment and management system that cleans the waste water before discharging it. They also feature Ulstein’s patented X-BOW design, zero-speed stabilizers and dynamic positioning, and are built to Polar Code Category B, with Polar Class 6 (Ice Class 1A on machinery). All vessels are customised versions of the ULSTEIN CX103 designs.

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