A conversion booked, Ulstein eyes cruise newbuilds

With a conversion booked, Ulstein is hoping to expand its cruise market activities to newbuildings such as this With a conversion booked, Ulstein is hoping to expand its cruise market activities to newbuildings such as this

OCTOBER 22, 2016 — Norway's Ulstein Verft has signed a contract for conversion work on an exploration cruise vessel — and is making a push to secure orders for newbuilding cruise ships of its own design.

The vessel to be converted is owned by Adventurers Partner Ltd.

Called the Sea Adventurer, the 100 m, ice strengthened vessel was built in Croatia and delivered in 1975 as the Alia Tarasova. It was refurbished in 1999 and had further upgrades in 2002. It is currently operated by Seattle, WA, based Quark Expeditions and has a capacity of117 passengers.

Ulstein says the ship will be modernized and upgraded. Among other things, main engines and gears will be replaced, cabin capacity and various upgrades on interior will be done. Work in Ulstein's engineering and design department has already started. The ship will most likely come to the shipyard inearly April 2017 and the job is to be completed by mid-June 2017.

Quark Expeditions says that the work will include renovations to the interior of the ship including outside cabins with en suite facilities, spacious forward lounge and bar, and other amenities; addition of new passenger cabins, new bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the main lounge and main dining room, gym, and select suites.

"This is an important contract for us within a new segment. The ship owner wanted a quality partner, and even if it’s a demanding project with short delivery time, we will deliver on-time with quality as always," says managing director Kristian Sætre.

Ulstein is very much in the market for cruise newbuilding work, too. The shipbuilder has developed cutting edge cruise ship designs in several sizes, ranging from small vessels with accommodation for approximately 100 or more passengers, to vessels that can accommodate 800 passengers or more.

It says its cruise ships have been developed to withstand the inhospitable conditions of sea areas such as the North Sea and the Polar regions as well as being equally at home in warmer waters.

Though Ulstein has its eye on cruise newbuildings, its first venture in the sector is conversion of the 100 m Sea Adventurer

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