The Miami-based expedition cruise shipowner SunStone Ships Inc has decided to move to a new class of newbuilds after the contracted Chinese shipbuilding yard walked out of the contract, CEO of the company Niels-Erik Lund revealed.
Lund said they had been informed the shipyard would not be building unit 7 and the reason was yet unknown.
The shipbuilder China Merchants Group has constructed a total of six 8200-GT-ton INFINITY-class vessels for SunStone and the 7th vessel (intended to be named Ocean Discoverer) was scheduled for delivery in 2023. However, it will not be built.
SunStone will now focus to order vessels of the new BOUNDLESS-class that it's been developing for some time. The projected ships would be bigger than the Infinity class, with GT 12-13,000 tons and passenger capacity 200-300, compared to 140 on the Infinity class ships.
Lund said their specifications had been finished and they had been negotiating with ~20 shipyards. At the time they were down to 3 shipyards and hoped to finalize a framework agreement very soon.
OSK-ShipTech in Denmark designed the Boundless class ships, while the Infinity class design came from Ulstein Group in Norway.