Next expedition cruise ship: Sea trial completion for ‘Sylvia Earle’



The ULSTEIN CX103 design, SunStone Ships’ ‘Sylvia Earle’ newbuild, has successfully completed sea trials in end October 2021. Ulstein has delivered the ship design and a comprehensive equipment package and has also been represented with a site team at the CMHI yard during the shipbuilding period.

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The Ulstein integrated equipment package includes the Brunvoll rudders, steering gears, bow thrusters, main propulsion gears and propellers, the Wärtsilä generator sets and SCR system, the extensive Aeron HVAC delivery as well as Ulstein's Integrated Automation System (IAS), the Power Management System (PMS), a power package (switchboards, bow thruster starters, drives), bridge and navigation equipment, and ULSTEIN COM (Internet, TV, telephone, PA system).

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’s purpose-built INFINITY cruise series are all designed by ULSTEIN, based on the CX103 design. Each vessel has been chartered out to various operators and the design proves its flexibility by having been customized for each charterer’s needs. The ‘Sylvia Earle’ will be operated by Australia-based Aurora Expeditions, the first cruise charterer to take in use the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW® to cross oceans more comfortably.

According to a press release from SunStone Ships, the sea trial commenced on 17 October 2021. The sea trials consisted of five days of intense testing of the vessel’s systems while underway in the south China Sea.

The cruise vessels of the CX103 design measure 104 metres in length and 18 metres in the beam, with a draft of 5.1 metres. The passenger capacity varies between 130 and 200 and the crew capacity between 85 and 115. The vessels are built to Ice Class 1A and Polar Code 6 standards and comply with the Safe Return to Port regulations. Although compact in size, the vessels hold all the services and facilities to be expected in a luxury cruise vessel: Restaurant, bar, spa, gym, lounges, hot tubs and pool, as well as numerous possibilities to go adventuring outside the vessel, such as zodiacs and kayaks.

So far, three of the INFINITY Class newbuilds have been delivered, the ‘Greg Mortimer’, the ‘Ocean Explorer’ and the ‘Ocean Victory’, while three vessels are in various phases of shipbuilding, the ‘Sylvia Earle’, the ‘Ocean Odyssey’ and the ‘Ocean Albatros’.

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