Oceanwide Expeditions, the Netherlands-based polar cruise company, announced that it had ordered a new 180-berth expedition ship.
The new 180-berth polar class expedition vessel (Artist impression)
To be called tHondius, Oceanwide claim that, although she will be the fifth such ship to be built to the class, she will be the strongest ice-strengthened expedition vessel operating in polar regions.
She will be built by Brodosplit in Croatia and is due to enter service in 2019.
Said Oceanwide Expeditions ceo Michel van Gessel, “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. The name Hondius follows our custom to name our ships for celebrated Dutch-Flemish cartographers who continue to inspire us as we carry on their passion for exploration and discovery.”
Hondius was specially designed to serve Oceanwide’s exploration programmes and to support its activity-based shore excursions in the Arctic and Antarctica. She will be rated Polar Class 6, and will be the fifth ship to be built to this specification, after Scenic Eclipse, Crystal Endeavour and two new ships for Hapag-Lloyd.
As it happens, Scenic Eclipse is also being built in Croatia, but at the Uljanik Group’s yard in Pula.
Hondius will be 350 feet long with a beam of 58 feet, and will have a service speed of 15 knots.