The Florida-based expedition cruise shipowner SunStone Ships Inc plans to order newbuilds bigger than the company's current vessel design (Infinity-Class), according to CEO Niels Erik Lund.
The new Boundless-Class boats will have GT tonnage ~12,000-13,000 tons (in comparison with 8,500 GT of the China-built ships) and LOA length 124 m / 407 ft (or 20 m / 66 ft longer).
SunStone intends to build at least 3 units of this new class, with which will replace the fleet's oldest boats (Ocean Atlantic, Ocean Diamond, Ocean Endeavour). However, it is possible the series will be longer as the company plans to grow its cruise chartering business.
The Infinity-Class features the X-Bow design patented by the Norwegian shipbuilding company Ulstein Verft (the shipyard in Ulsteinvik). The X-Bow significantly enhances the ships' seakeeping qualities.
The new ships' bow will be an inverse design as the feature improves seakeeping, a major aspect in expedition cruising that usually includes navigation in regions with "demanding conditions".
SunStone is currently at an advanced stage in the new ship design, so the first order is expected be placed in 2021-Q4.