Australian cruise company Aurora Expeditions has revealed the design of its first purpose-built expedition vessel for the polar regions.
Designed in cooperation with the US-based shipbuilders SunStone Ships, the ice class 1A ship will be built to the latest polar code specifications, according to the company.
The new vessel, which will feature a length of 104.4 meters and a width of 8.2 meters, will be able to reach a speed of up to 15 knots.
With the 7,400-ton vessel designed for expedition cruising, Aurora Expeditions said it plans to continue to provide the small-ship experience.
“With the development of our purpose-built expedition ship, we stay true to our small-ship philosophy where the focus is on the experience and engagement with the environment…In the polar regions, we will have the ability to reduce passenger numbers so we can continue to visit existing landings sites as well as explore new areas where strict regulations enforce no more than 100 people ashore at any one time,” Robert Halfpenny, Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, commented.
“The vessel is the first to use the patented X-BOW technology which has the ability to pierce waves with much greater stability,” Halfpenny added.
While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops violently onto the surface of the water, Ulstein’s X-BOW vessel is less subject to the vertical motions induced by the waves, continues on course more smoothly, while maintaining its speed. Due to the fact that the ship uses less fuel to get through the waves, it also helps to save energy versus a conventional bow designed vessel, Aurora Expeditions explained.
The yet-to-be-named ship is expected to be delivered in time for Aurora Expeditions’ 2019/2020 Antarctic season.