Plans for two new US expedition cruise ships have moved further forward after it was announced that Seattle-based naval architect Jensen Maritime has been chosen by vessel owner Lindblad Expeditions Holdings to provide the design and production engineering services for the two ships.
The twin screw diesel ships – with capacity for 100 passengers each – will be built at the Washington State shipyard of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) and have planned delivery dates of second-quarter 2017 and 2018. The US$94.8 million duo will operate tours between Baja, Costa Rica and Panama in winter and southeast Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Canada during the summer months.
Jensen Maritime – part of Crowley Maritime Group – said that it would use 3D modelling capabilities to allow Lindblad to confirm the vessel’s layout, maintenance envelopes and operational access prior to construction. The group will combine all the details of the structural, electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems of the vessel into one full-size 3D computer model resulting in a virtual vessel that can be inspected early in the design process for safety, maintainability and constructability.
Jensen vice-president Johan Sperling said: “With our 3D capabilities, the customer will have virtually walked every deck and inspected every system long before stepping onto the vessel and long before each system is installed, giving them further confidence that this ship will be exactly the high-quality passenger vessel they intended.”
“These new ships mark an exciting step in the long-term growth of the company, and enable us to capitalise on the substantial demand for our expeditions,” said Lindblad president and chief executive Sven Lindblad.
Key features of the new 238-foot ships include 50 cabins, a fitness room and spa, an outdoor walkway around the sun deck, which will feature dining and entertainment facilities and expedition technology that will include a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, hydrophone and bow-cam, full warm and cold water diving gear and underwater cameras.