The launching ceremony of the ‘Greg Mortimer’, the first polar expedition cruise vessel in SunStone Ships’ INFINITY series, was held in the morning of 12 March at the CMHI yard, China.
The steel cutting ceremony of ship number three in the series was also arranged yesterday, said a press release from Ulstein Group ASA, Norway based ship designer.
The cruise operator, Aurora Expeditions, has chartered the vessel, and named her after their founder, Greg Mortimer, who also attended yesterday’s launch ceremony.
According to Xianpu Hu, managing director at China Merchants Industry Group, the construction of vessel number 1 started on 16 March 2018, less than one year ago. This has been achieved due to the great cooperation with the suppliers and service industry.
Niels Erik Lund, president of SunStone Ships, said that more than 1.8 million labour hours have been put into this ship. “This is the first time an expedition cruise ship has been built at a Chinese yard. The progress has been smooth and according to plan. I am convinced that we will see a safe delivery of this vessel later this year, for the vessel to commence operations in the Antarctic this winter season.”
Ulstein’s contract is with the CMHI yard. Four firm contracts have so far been signed, and six options. The INFINITY Class vessels are 104,4 m long and 18,4 m wide. They have a passenger capacity of 130-200, and a crew capacity of 85-115, and are built to the ice standard PC5, Cat B.