The biggest tonnage provider in the expedition market, SunStone Ships, announced the successful delivery of the 2nd next-generation, INFINITY-class ship, Ocean Explorer, on July 14, 2021.
With the goal of "marrying European design and quality with Chinese ship-building efficiency," this class of ships delivers cutting-edge design, significant operating efficiencies, and innovations like X-bow technology.
The ship will sail on worldwide year-round expedition voyages for the UK-based Vantage Cruise Line - subsidiary and brand owned by Vantage Travel Service Inc (brand name "Vantage Deluxe World Travel").
The vessel is expected to depart CMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China), shortly following the delivery and be on her way to Manila (Luzon Island, Philippines) to pick up crew members, then a shortstop in Malta to get the remaining hotel crew and supplies, and from there to Poole (England UK) where cruising will commence in late August.
In addition to the INFINITY Series of newbuilds, SunStone Ships has commercial management of a fleet of 8 vessels on long-term charter in the small-ship/expedition ship market.
Ocean Explorer is in a series of ten "Ulstein CX103" design (Infinity-Class) expedition vessels, with sisterships Greg Mortimer (2019), Ocean Victory (2021), Sylvia Earle (2021), Ocean Odyssey (2022), Ocean Discoverer (2023), Ocean Albatros (2022) plus 4 more (TBN) units.
The patented ULSTEIN X-BOW design is one of the unusual for expedition ships features, The vessel also utilizes the latest technologies in naval engineering. The ship is technically managed by Cruise Management International (Miami-based passenger vessel/fleet management company). CMI Leisure Miami handles hotel operations.