STX France unveiled an innovative expedition cruise ship concept - a 200-passenger ice-class vessel aimed at the growing adventure market, named Ulysseas.

Xavier Leclercq, technical director of STX France, said that the new segment had a potential market. With big ship orders from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and MSC, STX is now turning towards expedition, where the cruise market is mostly made up of operators that use second-hand tonnage.

Unique feature on the ship are the large glass areas and French balconies, with floor to ceiling windows around the entire vessel, and a 360-degree observation lounge located forward. The Ulysseas concept measures 145-meter length and nine decks.

Aaccording to Leclercq, who joined STX France in 2001 to work on Festival Cruises’ new-build project, the new vessel design was a proposal, and they would see how the market and ship owners react to that. He noted it was innovative and different, “a new idea to this segment”.

Ulysseas concept’s unique form of the hull has been designed with basin-testing. With a wide-ranging profile between ice cruising at low speed and potential high-speed transits through the Drake Passage, service speed is targeted at 17 knots.

Energy saving new patented section of the ship is located aft. Actually, it’s an active duck-tail that can move depending on conditions and speed.

Pushed through the water via a couple of 2.5 megawatt pods, the innovative ship concept has 4 small diesel electric generators and a scrubber installed in the engine room (not in the funnel area). Leclercq promised big news in the form of incinerator development, to be released in the following months.

The new ship concept includes the unique ECORIZON program of STX France, which incorporates energy-saving build methods.

Ulysseas features large open decks and a helicopter landing pad - chopper storage takes place inside the deck below. Zodiacs, situated aft, are launched through a compartment. 

Over the past few years the STX company has invested heavily in engineering team and shipbuilding facilities.