SunStone Orders Two More Expedition Ships in China

SunStone expedition cruise ships
Photo: SunStone Ships

Miami-based expedition cruise ship operator SunStone Ships has confirmed orders for two more of its Infinity-class ships, bringing its total orderbook to five ships.

SunStone announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement with China Merchants Heavy Industries for the fourth and fifth vessels in the class to be built in China.

The order is part of a ten-vessel Framework Agreement signed between the two companies in March 2017.

Designed by Ulstein, SunStone’s Infinity-class will be 104-meters in length and 18 meters in beam, with capacity for 200 passengers. The ships will feature Ulstein’s patented X-Bow hull design, marking the first time the design has been used on a cruise ship. Each will be classed to Polar Code 6/Ice Class 1A.

“Our charterers are anxious to enjoy the advantages of our cutting-edge technology, like the X- bow design, along with the significant operating efficiencies offered by the Infinity-class. So, we’re moving as quickly as possible to get them into the market,” said SunStone President and CEO, Niels-Erik Lund.

SunStone Ships operates a fleet of eleven vessels available for long-term charter, mainly for the small-ship/expedition ship market.

The first ship in the Infinity-class, named Greg Mortimer, is scheduled for delivery in August 2019 and will be chartered Aurora Cruises out of Australia. The other four ships in the class will be delivered in March 2021, September 2021, February 2021 and February 2022, according to SunStone’s website.

SunStone is in negotiations on the remaining vessels in the class and is expected to place orders on all 10 of the vessels.