SunStone Ships, Inc. announced the June 12, 2018, keel-laying of the first Infinity Class vessel at China Merchants Heavy Industries in Haimen, China. The Greg Mortimer is the first passenger ship to combine European design and technology with the efficiency of Chinese shipbuilding. “We are pleased to have brought together world-class design from Tillberg, ground-breaking X-Bow technology from Ulstein, interior construction by Makinen and over a century of shipbuilding expertise from CMIH. This dream team is helping us pioneer a new age of expedition cruising, and we are proud to be a part of it,” remarked Niels-Erik Lund, SunStone’s President & CEO.
The first Infinity-class vessel, to be named Greg Mortimer, will be delivered in August 2019 to Aurora Expeditions, Australia on a long-term, deck and engine timecharter. The vessel will operate Antarctic cruises in the winter; and Arctic cruises in the summer. The technical management will be the responsibility of Cruise Management International, Miami, while the hotel management will depend on the expertise of CMI Leisure, Miami.
Representing Aurora Expeditions were Messrs. Neville Buch, Chairman, and Robert Halfpenny, President. Also participating in the keel-laying ceremony, were representatives of the partners in all of the Infinity Class vessels: China Merchants Industry Holdings, China Merchants Heavy Industries, Ulstein Design and Solutions, Makinen-Finland, Tillberg Design-US, SunStone Ships and SunStone Marine Advisors-Miami.
The Greg Mortimer is the first in the series of Infinity Class vessels ordered by SunStone in a Framework Agreement for four firm orders and six options.