China Merchants Group officially cut steel for the first of up to 10 newbuild expedition ships for SunStone ships at a ceremony at Haimen in Jiangsu Province.
CMIG General Manager Xianfu Hu said: “Cruise manufacturing is a target specified in the Made In China 2025 initiative and will accelerate China’s cruise Industry development. Under CMG’s strategy to develop a comprehensive cruise industrial chain, we aim to be China’s leading equipment manufacturer in the industry. We will use expedition cruise ships as a starting point and work towards manufacturing of mid-large scale cruise ships.”
Also present at the signing was SunStone CEO Niels-Erik Lund.
The first ship has been named the Greg Mortimer and will be chartered to Aurora Expeditions for the 2019-2020 Antarctica season.
Ulstein Design and Solutions will supply the design and equipment package for the new SunStone expedition ships, as well as the supervision for the building of the vessels.
The ships will have between 80 and 95 staterooms, depending on configuration, and be classed by Bureau Veritas.
CMIH has also entered into an agreement with Mäkinen, which will establish a cabin assembly plant and interior workshop at the shipyard’s facilities, and will be responsible for all interior spaces on the newbuilds.