Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros current position

Ocean Albatros current location is at North East Atlantic Ocean (coordinates 79.32799 N / 19.67516 E) cruising en route to ALKEFJELET. The AIS position was reported 2 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Ocean Albatros

Year of build2023  /  Age: 1
Flag state Madeira
BuilderCMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)
ClassINFINITY ULSTEIN CX103 (ice-strengthened expedition ship)
Building costUSD 65 million
Engines (power)Wartsila ( MW / 0 hp)
Speed16 kn / 30 km/h / 18 mph
Length (LOA)104 m / 341 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage7400 gt
Passengers146 - 200
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsGreg Mortimer, Sylvia Earle, Ocean Victory, Ocean Explorer, Ocean Odyssey, Douglas Mawson
OwnerSunStone Maritime Group AS (via SunStone Ships Inc)
OperatorAlbatros Expeditions

Ocean Albatros Review

Review of Ocean Albatros

The 2022-built/2023-inaugurated MS Ocean Albatros cruise ship is an ice-strengthened (polar class 1A-Super / PC6) expedition vessel owned by the Danish company SunStone Maritime Group (via its USA-based subsidiary SunStone Ships Inc) and operated under a long-term charter by Albatros Expeditions (travel brand owned by Albatros Travel Group/Copenhagen Denmark-based company specializing in Arctic and Antarctic cruise tours).

The vessel (IMO number 9880661) is currently Portugal/Madeira-flagged (MMSI 255915656) and registered in Funchal. Previously, it was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000950) and registered in Nassau.

Albatros Expeditions itineraries are in Arctic Europe (Svalbard Norway, Faroe Islands, Scotland), Arctic Canada (with Greenland-Iceland) and Antarctica (with Patagonia/Chilean Fjords and SGSSI-South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).

Ocean Albatros was chartered to replace Ocean Atlantic (1986-built, also owned by SunStone Ships).

Ship technology

Ocean Albatros is the sixth in a series of ten "Ulstein CX103" design (Infinity-Class) expedition vessels, with sisterships Greg Mortimer (2019-Aug), Ocean Victory (2021-March), Ocean Explorer (2021-Jan), Sylvia Earle (2022-Oct), Ocean Odyssey (2022-Oct), Douglas Mawson (2025). Four more units were intended but eventually canceled and replaced by the new BOUNDLESS Class boats.

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.

For the interior designs of this entire series of SunStone-owned ships was contracted the Weston Florida-based company Tomas Tillberg Design.

SunStone cruise ship design (ULSTEIN CX103) World-Class

With the highest for passenger vessel ice-class 1A (Polar Class 6 / PC6), MS Ocean Albatros has icebreaking capacity 1 m (3 ft) and complies with maritime industry's latest polar code requirements and specifications. The boat offers unprecedented levels of safety and environmental protection.

The major advantage of the patented "ULSTEIN X-BOW" design is the ship's ability to navigate with improved stability in comparison to traditional bow-design vessels. X-BOW vessels are less subject to vertical motions (induced by waves), continuing on course smoothly while maintaining high speeds. The ship's engines use less fuel, which results in reduced air emissions and fuel consumption.

The ship is equipped with maritime industry's latest propulsion and return-to-port systems, as well as dynamic positioning technology. These computer-controlled systems allow automatic maintenance of the ship's position via propulsion units (thrusters and propellers). This allows stable floating while maintaining the necessary stability for launching watercraft - and without using anchors.

Shipboard facilities

The newbuild expedition vessel features dedicated outdoor observation areas (including fore-located Observation Deck with two Hydraulic Platforms and two Viewing Platforms), stern marina (watersports platform serving company's sea kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving programs), a fleet of 20x Zodiacs (large-capacity motorized boats used for passenger transportation - tendering and landings). The aft-located Zodiac loading platform is a new design and allows easier and faster boarding. Sun Deck (top-deck forward) is furnished with premium garden furniture (sofas, armchairs, sun loungers) and used for both relaxation and wildlife viewing. The top-deck bow is the Observation Lounge (served by its own Bar) and midship is the funnel (with four stacks/engine exhaust pipes).

Other facilities include Medical Centre (Infirmary), Change Room (Mudroom), Bar Lounge (lecture theater forward on Deck 5), Dining Room Restaurant, Ship Shop, Lobby area (Reception Desk), Library, Art Room, Wellness Centre (Fitness, Spa, Sauna Room, Treatment Rooms for Massages), Lower Sun Deck (Deck 7 aft, with lifeboats and liferafts), Upper Sun Deck (Deck 8 midship, with sunbathing area and two whirlpool hot tubs).

Four Zodiac Docks (2 on each side, hull access at sea-level) serve as boat launching platforms.

MS Ocean Albatros cruise ship (Albatros Expeditions)

When chartered by Albatros Expeditions, Ocean Albatros provides some exclusive amenities via the company's partnerships with brands like Gerard Bertrand (organic wines from southern France, wine-tasting menus) and Julius Meinl (organic coffees and teas). Albatros also introduces Polar Spa (providing exotic treatments and massages), all-inclusive Suite cabins (with dedicated butler service, complimentary minibar, free laundry and pressing, in-cabin dining / daily served Canapes, Espresso machine / Julius Meinl, unlimited specialty restaurant access).

Decks and Cabins

Ocean Albatros staterooms (95 total) allow max capacity 190 passengers. Cabins include 68x Balcony, 9x French Balcony and 16x with Porthole Windows. The vessel is served by 100 crew/staff accommodated in 57 crew cabins. Most cabins (80% of all, excepting only Deck 3 cabins with Portholes) are with private, step-out balconies accessible from the living area via sliding, floor-ceiling glass door. Each balcony is furnished with a small table and two deck chairs. 60% of all cabins can be booked with triple occupancy (accommodate a 3rd person on pull-out couch/sofabed).

  • Hotel beds (King-size or two twin, size 200 x 160 cm, ample under-bed storage space for suitcases), sleeping couch (sofabed), bedside cabinets, mirrored vanity (writing desk / dressing table) with chair, built-in dressers with drawers, mini-bar / refrigerator, 42-inch smart HDTV (local and satellite reception), phone (onboard communication only), digital clock / alarm, seating area (small table with 1 or 2 armchairs), spacious wardrobe (closet with hangers, drawers, electronic safe), individual climate control, medical emergency button.
  • Each stateroom has a private, full-size bathroom with shower / WC, hairdryer, premium bath amenities.
  • Suites are in 3 categories - CS-Captain's, JS-Junior and BS-Balcony. These are the largest staterooms, with double-size balconies and offering extra amenities, such as in-room dining service (continental breakfast served on the balcony).

The ship has a total of 20 pairs of connecting rooms (balconied cabins) that can be booked as one "family stateroom" for up to 6 persons. There are no wheelchair-accessible cabins (suitable for passengers with disabilities).

Unlike the sisterships, Ocean Albatros has a Double-Bedroom Family Suite (two interconnecting French Balcony Suites on Deck 7) that accommodates up to 5 people.

The boat has 8 decks, of which 6 are passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.


In early-December 2021, Albatros Expeditions announced that due to delayed construction, Ocean Albatros' inaugural cruise season will be postponed. The company's previously announced 2022-2023 program was canceled.

The vessel's construction was delayed due to the COVID crisis-related issues (global supply chain problems and quarantined employees) experienced by the Chinese shipbuilder.

The chartered from SunStone Ships Ocean Albatros operates voyages in the Arctic (Norway's Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland) and to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, as well as expeditions in the Weddell Sea and the Southern Ocean visiting the British overseas territories/dependencies South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Falkland Islands.

Ocean Albatros' 2023 itinerary program started with the 8-day Maiden Voyage on June 15th (2023) out of Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen Island in Svalbard). The spring-summer Arctic deployment was in Arctic Europe (Norway's Svalbard Archipelago and Jan Mayen Island), voyages to Greenland and Iceland, as well as in North America (Arctic Canada and the USA) via the Northwest Passage/Canadian Arctic.

The inaugural Antarctic voyage (roundtrip from Ushuaia Argentina) was scheduled for October 30th, 2023.

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The chartering agreement between SunStone Ships and Albatros Expeditions was signed on April 12, 2019, by Niels-Erik Lund (SunStone's President and CEO) and Hans Lagerweij (Albatros Travel's President and CEO). Ocean Albatros is the second Infinity-Class (ULSTEIN-designed) vessel chartered by Albatros Expeditions - together with Ocean Victory (chartered for season 2021). The Miami-based company CMI Leisure Management provides ship management services that include staffing, hotel services, housekeeping, onboard food and beverages, purchasing supplies, logistics. CMI Leisure is among world's leading companies providing small-ship management services.

On March 16, 2017, SunStone Ships Inc signed the shipbuilding agreement with the Hong Kong-based company "China Merchants Industry Holdings" (abbrev CMIH) for construction of 4 expedition vessels. SunStone is world's largest (by tonnage) shipowner chartering exclusively expedition vessels to cruise travel companies. Since there is an option for additional 6 sisterships, by this "ULSTEIN CX103" project could be built up to 10 units. The USD 260 million shipbuilding order for the 4 units was signed in June 2017.

The company CMIH is a subsidiary of China Merchants Group (among the country's largest groups of companies). Following the contract with SunStone Ships, CMIH signed an agreement with the Norwegian company Ulstein Design (part of Ulstein Group, headquartered in Ulsteinvik Norway) to supply the ship design and equipment package (ULSTEIN COM / Navigation Bridge system, and the integrated automation systems ULSTEIN IAS and ULSTEIN POWER), and also to supervise the shipbuilding works. For the ship's hotel design was contracted the Florida (USA)-based company Tomas Tillberg Design International (specializing in passenger vessel design). The design features Ulstein's patented X-BOW (providing fuel efficiency and significantly improved stability in rough seas). The vessel complies with the 2009-issued SOLAS requirements for "Virtual Anchorage" and "Safe Return to Port" (SRtP) implemented via Dynamic Positioning System (computer-controlled, automatically maintains ship's position) and Zero Speed Stabilizers (roll reduction system).

CMIH also signed an agreement with the Finnish company "IS Makinen Inc" to pre-fabricate the vessels' cabins, wet units and interior public spaces. For this purpose, Makinen established a cabin assembly plant and an interior workshop facility at the shipbuilding yard in China. Project's shipbuilder is CMIH's subsidiary "China Merchants Heavy Industry" (abbrev CMHI, shipyard near Shanghai).

Ocean Albatros' construction (hull CMHI 196-6) officially started on January 20, 2022, with the keel-laying ceremony held at CMHI's Haimen shipyard. The ship was launched/floated out from drydock on September 16, 2022, at CMHI Haimen. Sea trials were successfully completed on January 19, 2023.

CMHI officially delivered Ocean Albatros to SunStone Ships on April 20, 2023.

The ship left China/Haimen on April 25th (2023), en route to Europe/Tromso Norway. A bunkering stop (for refueling and provisions) was made in Singapore on May 2-4 (overnight). The Suez Canal transit was May 22-23 (overnight). Next bunkering stop was in Valletta Malta (May 26-28/overnight). The ship arrived in Port Tromso on June 10th.

The ship is powered by 4x Wartsila-20 diesel engines (two 6-cylinder plus two 8-cylinder) running on HFO (heavy fuel oil). The 6-cylinder engines are fitted with Wartsila-NOR (exhaust gas cleaning system, NOx gas reducing technology). The contract with Wartsila was signed in November 2017.


The vessel's propulsion system is diesel-electric (twin-screw) and designed by Brunvoll Volda AS (Volda Norway-based company specializing in marine propulsion, positioning and maneuvering systems). For the ULSTEIN CX103 project, Brunvoll contracted DMC (Damen Marine Components, Hardinxveld Giessendam Holland-based marine eqipment manufacturer) to produce and supply the vessel's two rudders (model Van der Velden ATLANTIC) and two steering gear systems (model Van der Velden COMMANDER).

Ocean Albatros' christening ceremony was held on May 7, 2024, at  Nordre Tolbod/waterfront area in Port Copenhagen Denmark. The dock-side naming event was attended by Soren Rasmussen (Albatros Expeditions' founder and chairman).