Ocean Victory Review and Specifications
Specifications of Ocean Victory
|Year built||2020 new ship|
|Builder||CMIH-China Merchants Heavy Industry (Haimen shipyard, Jiangsu China)|
|Class||INFINITY ULSTEIN CX103 (ice-strengthened expedition ship)|
|Building cost||USD 65 million|
|Owner||SunStone Ships Inc|
|Operator||Victory Cruise Lines, Albatros Expeditions|
|Speed||16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph|
|Length (LOA)||104 m / 341 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||7400 gt|
|Passengers||146 - 200|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||Greg Mortimer, Ocean Explorer, Ocean Odyssey, Ocean Albatros|
Review of Ocean Victory
MS Ocean Victory cruise ship is an ice-strengthened (polar class 1A / PC6) expedition vessel scheduled for delivery in September 2020. The boat is owned by SunStone Ships (USA) and operated under charter by Victory Cruise Line USA (brand owned by AQSC/American Queen Steamboat Company) and Albatros Expeditions (Copenhagen Denmark-based company specializing in Arctic and Antarctic cruisetours). Albatros Expeditions itineraries are in Arctic Europe (Svalbard Norway, Faroe Islands, Scotland), Arctic Canada (with Greenland-Iceland), Antarctica (with Patagonia/Chilean Fjords and SGSSI-South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands).
Ocean Victory is the second in a series of ten "Ulstein CX103" design (Infinity-Class) expedition vessels, with sisterships Greg Mortimer (2019-Aug), Ocean Explorer (2021-Feb), Ocean Odyssey (2022-March), Ocean Discoverer (2022-Sept), Ocean Albatros (2022-Oct) 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.
In November 2018, AQSC signed an agreement for purchasing the brand "Victory Cruise Line", as well as its chartered (from Sunstone Ships) vessels. Victory Cruise Line has a separate fleet and management and operates as a subsidiary company of AQSC. AQSC's Victory Cruise Line cooperated with the US-based shipowner SunStone Ships Inc to construct a custom-designed vessel for expedition-type voyages in polar regions, providing industry's best adventure travel vacation experiences and modern amenities.
With the highest for passenger vessel ice-class 1A (Polar Class 6 / PC6), MS Ocean Victory 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.
Starting operations for Victory Cruise Line, Ocean Victory ship's itinerary program 2021 (May through September) includes a total of 20 Alaskan cruises. Itineraries lengths range between 7-day to 10-day. Unique experiences on all these voyages are the Zodiac boat landings and shoreside cruising and kayaking for up-close scenery and wildlife viewing (bears, whales, seabirds). Ship's resident scientific staff (including marine biologists and naturalists) lead all expeditions and also provide educational onboard lectures.
Ocean Victory's cruises to Alaska are scheduled to be opened for booking in July 2019.
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 the latest propulsion and return-to-port systems. It also has top-notch dynamic positioning technology - computer-controlled systems allowing automatic maintenance of the vessel's position through its own propulsion units (thrusters and propellers). This allows stable floating while maintaining the necessary stability for launching watercraft - and without using anchors.
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. On 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, Buffet Restaurant, Ship Shop, Lobby area (Reception Desk), Library, Piano Bar, 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 swimming pool, pool bar, two whirlpool hot tubs, alfresco dining area).
Four Zodiac Docks (2 on each side, hull access at sea-level) serve as boat launching platforms.
Ocean Victory ship has a total of 93 staterooms for 146 passengers (max capacity 200), including 68 with balconies, 9 with French Balcony and 16 with Porthole Windows. The vessel is served by 100 crew/staff accommodated in 57 crew cabins.
- Most staterooms (80% of all, excepting only Deck 3's porthole cabins) are with a private, step-out balcony 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 a 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 flat 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).
Ocean Victory wiki
Ocean Victory is the first Infinity-Class (ULSTEIN-designed) vessel chartered by Albatros Expeditions - followed by Ocean Albatros (chartered for Antarctic season 2022-2023). The ship-chartering agreement includes a deal with the Miami-based CMI Leisure Management. Company's ship management services 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 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, by this "ULSTEIN CX103" project could be built up to 10 units. The USD 260 million shipbuilding order for the 4 boats was signed in June 2017.
The company CMIH is a subsidiary of China Merchants Group (among 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 the subsidiary company "China Merchants Heavy Industry" (abbrev CMHI, shipyard near Shanghai).
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.
MS Ocean Victory's charter contract with Aurora Expeditions was signed on June 6, 2018. In October 2018 was announced that the vessel will be also chartered by Victory Cruise Line (a subsidiary of American Queen Steamboat Company). There were rumours about Poseidon Expeditions also considering a charter deal for the new boat.
In mid-November 2018, the shipowner AQSC (American Queen Steamboat Company) announced an agreement to acquire the brand "Victory Cruise Line", that includes purchasing its two chartered (Sunstone Ships-owned) vessels Victory I (built 2001) and Victory II (built 2004). To AQSC fleet was also added the newbuild Ocean Victory - Sunstone-owned and operated under a charter. All the 3 vessels stay in a separate fleet - under the "Victory Cruise Line" brand. Transaction terms (and price) were not disclosed. The announcement was officially made by the company's CEO John Waggoner. The acquisition deal was closed in mid-January 2019.
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