Ocean Odyssey

Ocean Odyssey current position

Ocean Odyssey current location is at East Mediterranean (coordinates 35.88179 N / 14.51755 E) cruising en route to Valletta. The AIS position was reported 19 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Ocean Odyssey

Year of build2022  /  Age: 2
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderCMHI-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)
ClassINFINITY ULSTEIN CX103 (ice-strengthened expedition ship)
Building costUSD 65 million
Speed16 kn / 30 km/h / 18 mph
Length (LOA)104 m / 341 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage7400 gt
Passengers162
Crew74
Beds162
Decks10
Cabins80
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsGreg Mortimer, Sylvia Earle, Ocean Victory, Ocean Explorer, Ocean Discoverer, Ocean Albatros
Christened bytba
OwnerSunStone Maritime Group AS (via SunStone Ships Inc)
OperatorAurora Expeditions Australia

Ocean Odyssey Review

Review of Ocean Odyssey

The 2022-built MS Ocean Odyssey cruise ship is an ice-strengthened (polar class 1A / PC6) expedition vessel owned by the Danish company SunStone Maritime Group (via its USA-based subsidiary SunStone Ships Inc) and until 2023 was chartered by Vantage Cruise Line - subsidiary and brand owned by the Boston-based company Vantage Travel Service Inc (brand name "Vantage Deluxe World Travel").

The vessel (IMO number 9880673) is currently Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000870) and registered in Nassau.

In January 2024, SunStone confirmed that since October 2024, Ocean Explorer will be chartered to Quark Expeditions. The statement also mentioned that in October 2024 ends Quark's charter of Ocean Adventurer.

Vantage Travel Service Inc's bankruptcy (2023)

In May 2023, the two Vantage Travel-chartered ships Ocean Odyssey (May 31st) and Ocean Explorer (May 29th) arrived and were permanently moored/docked in Caen (France). Reportedly, the laid-up (by SunStone Ships Inc) was for 3 months and was requested by the charterer experiencing financial difficulties. All scheduled voyages for both ships were canceled by Vantage Travel Service Inc.

On June 8th, Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office (run by Michelle Henry) filed a lawsuit against Vantage Travel for “deceptive and unfair business practices” also citing holding older residents' refunds hostage.

On June 20th, Vantage Travel laid off all its employees, after quietly postponing all its voyages through August 28th. Reportedly, since January 1st, 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office (run by Andrea Joy Campbell) received a total of 1120 consumer complaints about the cruise company, including 478 (2023-filed) and 108 (from Massachusetts residents).

On June 29th, Vantage Travel Service Inc filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and signed with United Travel Pte. Ltd (owner of the companies Nordic Hamburg Shipmanagement GmbH and the cruise line brand Heritage Expeditions New Zealand) a deal to sell its entire business.

Vantage Travel received approval to promptly complete the sale through a court-supervised process. Vantage Travel's legal advisor was Casner & Edwards LLP while Argus Management served as the financial advisor.

On July 5th, during the preliminary court hearing in Boston (for the company's bankruptcy filing) were revealed two potential bidders for Vantage - Pacific Travel Partners Inc (Aurora Expeditions Australia's subsidiary) and United Travel Pte Ltd. Both bidders offered DIP financing (Debtor in Possession).

On Aug 4th, Pacific Travel Partners submitted its bid (US$1,5 million cash offer) for Vantage Travel's assets (not the entire business) and on Aug 9th it won the auction. On Aug 22nd, Pacific Travel Partners officially acquired Vantage Travel's assets (intellectual property, customer list and prospecting). Pacific Travel Partners also committed to honoring the obligations to unsecured creditors, including Vantage's clients who had paid for not-yet-received travel services. These clients were provided with credits to be used towards future voyages with Pacific Travel Partners.

Ship technology

Ocean Odyssey is the fourth 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 Albatros (2022-Oct), Ocean Discoverer (2025-August). 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 Odyssey 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 22x 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 with an infinity pool/stern-facing swimming pool flanked by two Jacuzzies/whirlpool hot tubs).

MS Ocean Odyssey cruise ship

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

Decks and Cabins

Ocean Odyssey staterooms (a total of 80) allow max capacity 162 passengers. 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).

There are 15x single-occupancy cabins (for solo travelers). 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).

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

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    Ocean Odyssey Wiki

    The ship-chartering agreement includes a deal with the Miami-based company CMI Leisure Management. Ship management services include staffing, hotel services, housekeeping, onboard food and beverages, purchasing supplies, logistics. CMI Leisure is among the 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 the construction of 4 expedition vessels. SunStone is the world's largest (by tonnage) shipowner chartering exclusively expedition vessels to cruise travel companies.

    Since there is an option for an additional 6 sisterships, with the "ULSTEIN CX103" design were built 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).

    In late-May 2020, SunStone Ships Inc announced that Ocean Odyssey will be chartered to Vantage Cruise Line (brand of Vantage Travel Service Inc). Vantage Travel plans for Ocean Odyssey cruises in new for the brand destinations, including the Pacific Ocean's Coral Triangle (Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste), Komodo Island (Indonesia), Borneo Island (world's 3rd-largest), northern Australia.

    On March 18, 2021, at CMHI Haimen Shipyard (in Jiangsu, China) was held Ocean Odyssey's keel-laying ceremony. On the same day was launched (floated out from drydock) the sistership Sylvia Earle.

    Ocean Odyssey's launch (the float-out at CMHI) was on October 23, 2021.

    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 equipment 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 Odyssey (together with Sylvia Earle) was delivered to SunStone in 2022, on October 21st, at CMHI Haimen.