Norway’s Polar Cruise Enterprises is expected to go out to tender for the construction of a dedicated expedition-type cruise vessel for Polar operations in the early part of 2009. The concept design for the 202 passenger capacity vessel has been carried out by Finland’s Aker Arctic Technology.
Polar Cruise Enterprises currently operates the former Swedish icebreaker Njord (pic left), now sailing as the Polar Star, but this 40 year old vessel is becoming more and more expensive to operate and maintain.
The outline specification for the newbuilding calls for a vessel with a lower berth capacity of 202, plus the addition of 40 passengers on Pullman berths, and accommodation for a crew of 75. The Polar cruise ship will have a length o.a. of 135.5m and a beam of 17.8m. Service speed will be 17 knots.
The newbuilding will be double-acting with a bow design optimised for operations in open water as well as in ice floes, with an ice-breaking stern for operation in reverse mode, She will have two independent main enginerooms, providing for full redundancy and a ‘get me home’ capability in line with the latest IMO ‘Safe Return to Port’ requirements.