Expedition cruise company Oceanwide Expeditions has commissioned the building of an innovative 180-passenger vessel off the back of an increased demand for polar cruises.
The Dutch operator claims the ship ꟷ called Hondius ꟷ will be the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in the polar regions. It is being built in Croatia by shipbuilder Brodosplit and will be delivered in 2019.
“We currently sail with our ice-strengthened 116-passenger vessels Plancius and Ortelius, and Hondius will give us the opportunity to accommodate more travellers, to grow as a company, and to offer new, innovative products in the polar regions,” says Oceanwide Expeditions chief executive officer Michel van Gessel.
Hondius was designed to support and serve Oceanwide’s exploratory programmes and activity-based shore excursions in the Arctic and Antarctica. It will be rated Polar Class 6. “A speedy zodiac embarkation is guaranteed, with two separate gangways and an indoor platform that can be used for outdoor activities such as kayaking,” said a statement. While Hondius is at anchor during passenger excursions, it can drift or remain in position with the support of the bow and stern thrusters.
The vessel size will be 107m long, with a breadth of 17.6m. It will be equipped with two main engines for a total of 4,200 kW, generating a speed of 15 knots.
Hondius’ propulsion system will consist of two medium-speed main engines and one adjustable pitch propeller. The flexible power management (in combination with a shaft generator instead of a diesel-driven generator) permits the lowest possible fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, said Oceanwide Expeditions. Further environmental features include using biodegradable lubrication oils; certifiably hazardous-free coating and paint of the vessel; using steam for onboard heating; LED interior and exterior lighting; and waste heat reused for the production of fresh water.