NOVEMBER 25, 2016 —Vlissingen, Netherlands, headquartered Oceanwide Expeditions reports that it has commissioned the building of an 180-passenger vessel, called the Hondius, that will be the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in the Polar regions.
It is being built in Croatia by shipbuilder Brodosplit and will be available to customers in 2019.
The vessel will be 107 m (350 ft) long, with a breadth of 17.6 m (58 ft).
The propulsion system consists of two medium speed main engines and one adjustable pitch propeller. Flexible power management (in combination with a shaft generator instead of a diesel-driven generator) permits the lowest possible fuel consumption and CO2 emission, and therefore a minimum possible impact on the environment.
Further environmental features include the use of biodegradable lubrication oils; certifiably hazardous-free coating and paint of the vessel; the use of steam for onboard heating; minimal use of electrical heating (for less fuel consumption); LED interior and exterior lighting (reducing power and fuel needs); and reusing waste heat, such as cooling water for the main engines, for the production of fresh water.
"We currently sail with our ice-strengthened 116-passenger vessels Plancius and Ortelius, and the Hondius will give us the opportunity to accommodate more travelers, to grow as a company, and to offer new, innovative products in the Polar regions," says Oceanwide Expeditions' CEO, Michel van Gessel. "The name Hondius follows our custom to name our ships for celebrated Dutch-Flemish cartographers who continue to inspire us as we carry on their passion for exploration and discovery."
Specially designed to support and serve Oceanwide's exploratory programs and activity-based shore excursions in the Arctic and Antarctica, Hondius will be rated Polar Class 6, similar to the previous Finnish-Swedish ice-class notation 1A-super.
Speedy zodiac embarkation is guaranteed, with two separate gangways and an indoor platform that can be used for outdoor activities such as kayaking.
While Hondius is at anchor during passenger excursions, it can drift or remain in position with the support of the bow and stern thrusters. One deck on board is reserved for an observation lounge, with a separate lecture room.
Hondius will offer passengers an advanced hotel standard of quarters, as well as a variety of cabin categories, from spacious suites and superiors to twin and quadruple cabins.