Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group has teamed up with the UK-based expedition consultancy Expedition Voyage Consultants (EVC) to develop a specialist small cruise ship with a capacity to carry around 100 passengers whose design will be unveiled in the fall this year.
The move comes as a response to the fast growing expedition sector, which has seen expansion into remote destinations, according to Damen.
“Expedition cruising requires small, comfortable and highly capable vessels that customers can be confident in, no matter if they are cruising Polynesia or the Northwest Passage. With the existing tonnage aging and environmental regulations tightening, it is important that operators have vessels they can rely on well into the future,” Henk Grunstra, Damen Product Director said.
The partnership between the duo follows a cooperation with Expedition Voyage Consultants’ sister company, EYOS Expeditions, which resulted in Damen developing the world’s first Polar Code compliant expedition yacht – the SeaXplorer.
“This vessel will be capable of taking expedition cruise passengers beyond the usual range in terms of both geography and experience. The vessel’s high ice capability and endurance make her globally capable, and she will be equally at home in the tropics or polar waters,” Ben Lyons, Chief Executive Officer of Expedition Voyage Consultants Ltd. and EYOS Expeditions said.