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MV Hondius

MV Hondius Review and Specifications

Specifications of MV Hondius

Year built2019 new ship
Flag state Netherlands
BuilderBrodosplit Shipyard (Split, Croatia)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costUSD 85 million
OwnerOceanwide Expeditions
OperatorOceanwide Expeditions
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)108 m / 354 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage6300 gt
Passengers174 - 196
Crew76
Decks5
Cabins82
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsJanssonius
Christened bytba

Current position of MV Hondius

Review of MV Hondius

MV Hondius cruise ship is the first of the newest Oceanwide Expeditions vessels - with fleet mates Janssonius (2021, sistership), Ortelius (1989), Plancius (1976) and two polar-class sailing ships - Noorderlicht (1991) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1994). The newbuild sisterships Hondius and Janssonius are ice-classed LR-PC6 ("Lloyd's Register Polar Class 6") passenger vessels with ice-strengthened hulls.

MV Hondius cruise ship

The fleet mates Plancius and Ortelius are former state-owned research vessels previously operated, respectively, by the Royal Dutch Navy and the Russian Academy of Science.

History - construction and ownership

Specializing in passenger shipping and navigation in icy waters, with the newbuilds Janssonius and Hondius the headquartered in Vlissingen Netherlands cruise company Oceanwide Expeditions grew not only as fleet/capacity but also as brand popularity and trust. The ship name "Hondius" honours one of the famous Dutch-Flemish cartographers Jodocus Hondius (1563-1612) best-known for his maps of Europe and the New World (Americas and Oceania). Joost de Hondt (aka Jodocus Hondius the Elder) was born in Wakken (West Flanders, Belgium) and died in Amsterdam (Holland).

Founded in 1993, Oceanwide Expeditions (shipowner) is one of the industry's small cruise lines offering regularly-scheduled and flexible polar cruise tours providing its customers with the opportunity to contact with Arctic-Antarctica's wildlife, unique landscapes, nautically important polar regions and historical sites. Oceanwide Expeditions has year-round planned itineraries - during summer (April through September) in the Arctic and during winter (October through March) in Antarctica. Most Oceanwide-organized tours are in sea-only accessible areas, usually without any land/port infrastructure. In most of these locations, the cruise ship anchors near the coast and all passengers are tendered (via Zodiac Milpro boats) to the landing sites. Each boat is crewed and guided by a dedicated expedition team.

Oceanwide Expeditions supports renown organizations dedicated to wildlife preservation and sustainable environmental development projects in Earth's polar regions. Among these organizations are AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators - cruise line organization working mainly in Europe's Arctic / Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard Norway), IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, 1991-founded association of 100+ members/companies) and BirdLife International (1922-founded global organizations dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats).

MV Hondius cruise ship

Due to the constantly increasing demand for polar cruises, Oceanwide Expeditions ordered the building of two ice-strengthened ships (Janssonius and Hondius), each fitted with two main engines (total power output 4,26 MW) and max passenger capacity 196 (85 staterooms). On polar itineraries, each ship's capacity is limited to 174.

Shipboard facilities

Like all Oceanwide fleet mates, Hondius is equipped with rigid-hulled zodiacs (inflatable motorized high-speed boats) used for landings and tendering (ship-to-shore passenger transportation) in remote coastal areas. The vessel also features a top-deck helipad (fore-located helicopter landing area used in cases of emergency).

This expedition ship is specially designed for travel cruising in the Earth's polar regions (Antarctica and Arctic). The vessel boasts fast zodiac boats, sea kayaks and an aft-located covered marina platform for water-based outdoor activities. There is a deck with an observation lounge and a separate room for readings.

MV Hondius cruise ship

Cabins

The ship Hondius has 82 passenger cabins different cabin categories and accommodating 2-4 persons. Staterooms options range from 1x Hondius Suite (sized 35 m2 / 375 ft2), 6x Balcony Grand Suites (sized 27 m2 / 290 ft2), 8x French Balcony Junior Suites (sized 19-20 m2 / 205-215 ft2), 19x outsides / oceanview cabins (sized 19-20-21 m2 / 205-215-225 ft2), 14x doubles with panoramic window (12-14 m2 / 130-150 ft2). Sized between 12-18 m2 (130-190 ft2) the ship also has cabins with porthole windows, including 31x doubles, 2x triple-occupancy and 4x quads/quadruple-occupancy.

Standard cabin amenities include windows (some opening), 1 double bed (or 2 single beds / non-convertible to double), under-bed storage, bedside cabinets, wall-mounted reading lamps, LED ceiling lights, lounge/seating area (writing desk with chair, flat TV, phone, WiFi Internet, refrigerator, tea/coffee maker, binoculars), wardrobe, electronic safe box (in the closet), en-suite bathroom (WC, single-sink vanity, shower, bath products, bathrobes, towels, hairdryer), individually controlled air-conditioning.

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Hondius is a newbuild passenger expedition vessel which by ice-class (LR-PC6) meets the highest demands of Lloyd's PC6-registered vessels. PC6 is the highest Polar Class notation concerning ice-strengthened passenger vessels. LR-PC6 is equivalent to the Finnish-Swedish "1A Super" ice-class which requires minimum cruising speed 5 knots (9,3 kph / 5,8 mph) in broken brash ice (with 1-m thickness / 3,3 ft) and in consolidated ice layers (with 0,1-m thickness / 4 inches). Still, even 1A Super/PC6-classed ships are assumed to rely on icebreaking ships for assistance.

The ship is powered by two ABC marine diesel engines (total power output 4,3 MW) manufactured by Anglo Belgian Corporation NV (Ghent, Belgium). The vessel fully complies with IMO's Polar Code requirements, in particular concerning SOLAS (safety of the life at sea) and prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) for passenger ships.

Ship's design and technical solutions were developed by Brodosplit company's Design Department which confirms shipyard's positioning as one of Europe's best facilities for constructing modern and complex marine vessels achieving high competitiveness.

On August 23, 2017, at Brodosplit Shipyard (in Split Croatia) was held the steel-cutting ceremony (hull 484), which officially started vessel's construction. In November 2017, Hondius was among all 22 expedition ships on order/under construction.

On December 5, 2017, was the keel-laying ceremony (hull number 484). The main diesel engines were installed in January 2018. The vessel was launched (floated out from drydock) on June 9, 2018, and scheduled for delivery to Oceanwide Expeditions on May 2, 2019.

For summer 2020, the cruise ship was chartered by the 1978-founded company OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) subsidiary and brand of Grand Circle Corporation. OAT is a small-group adventure travel company catering mainly to Americans 55-yo and older. Hondius' OAT charter was based on a 15-day Svalbard Norway cruise tour itinerary program (departures June 29, July 9 and 19) with 10-day cruising and 5 days on land. Prices started from USD 12,900 per person, with fares inclusive of roundtrip flights from the USA (to/from Oslo).

In May 2019, Oceanwide Expeditions company's owner Wijnand Van Gessel announced ordering a second newbuild (sistership to Hondius) with planned delivery in October 2021. The vessel (Janssonius) will be also built at Brodosplit Shipyard.

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