First X-Bow Cruise Vessel Ready to Set Sail

China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI) has delivered the first expedition cruise vessel in SunStone’s Infinity class series, the Greg Mortimer. In addition to being the first Chinese-built expedition cruise vessel, it is also the first such vessel to incorporate Ulstein’s patented X-Bow.

The Greg Mortimer is the first of potentially ten polar expedition cruise vessels for U.S. based SunStone Ships to be built at the CMHI yard, China. The vessels have been designed and developed by Norway-based Ulstein Design & Solutions together with the ships’ owner and charterer, Aurora Expeditions.

Break-through for Ulstein

‘The ship design contracts for SunStone Ships were a break-through for Ulstein in the expedition cruise market, and we are excited that our partner, the CMHI yard, now has delivered the first Chinese-built expedition cruise vessel,’ says Tore Ulstein, COO Ulstein Design & Solutions and deputy CEO in Ulstein Group.

First Expedition Cruise Ship with X-Bow

The vessel is the first expedition cruise ship to incorporate Ulstein’s patented X-Bow innovation. This bow/hull design leads to a smoother and more comfortable journey in head seas. Less resistance in waves also means that less fuel is needed to cut through the waves, reducing a vessel’s environmental footprint.

Customised Design

All vessels in the Infinity class will be customised to each client, as is also the case with the Greg Mortimer. Aurora’s team experts have been closely involved in the ship project, to ensure the best possible expedition vessel for their purpose and itineraries.

Vessel Particulars

The 104-metre ship is built to Polar Class 6 standards for venturing in cold waters. It boasts eighty passenger cabins with private bathrooms and balconies. Other facilities include a restaurant and a bar, a lecture room, a lounge, a 180-degree indoor observation deck and outdoor viewing areas.

Other highlights include a custom-designed platform for kayakers and divers, a dedicated sea-level Zodiac loading platform, and a mud room for day ventures. Side ports facilitate the loading and offloading of four Zodiacs at the same time.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.