Keel Laid for SunStone’s Douglas Mawson

Keel laying for Douglas Mawson

The construction process of SunStone Ships’ Douglas Mawson reached a milestone in late May with the ship’s keel laying.

Being built by the CMIH Shipyard, the 186-guest vessel is the seventh expedition ship in the company’s Infinity Class and is set for a 2025 delivery.

A special ceremony was held at the Chinese shipyard to celebrate the occasion, which marks the start of the assembly of the vessel’s hull and superstructure.

Following the 2023-built Ocean Albatros, the Douglas Mawson is set to be operated by Aurora Expeditions as part of a long-term charter agreement.

According to Ulstein Design, the vessel is the outcome of a global collaboration between Danish expedition cruise specialists, Norwegian naval architects, American interior designers, Finnish interior contractors and a Chinese Shipyard.

Companies involved in the project include Ulstein Design, SunStone Ships, Tomas Tillberg Design, Makinen and CMIH.

Joining the Greg Mortimer and the Sylvia Earle in Aurora Expeditions’ fleet, the Douglas Mawson will operate a year-round schedule of expeditions for the company.

Starting in December 2025, the 8,000-ton vessel offers a series of itineraries to remote parts of the world, including East Antarctica, the Ross Sea and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands.

For its maiden voyage, the Douglas Mawson is set to offer a ten-day expedition to Tasmania sailing roundtrip from Hobart.

According to Aurora, the itinerary features visits to “pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and shimmering bays.”

The Douglas Mawson was designed for global discovery and is equipped with enhanced sustainability features, the company added.

The ship is also equipped with Ulstein’s X-Bow, a bow design originally created for offshore vessels operating in some of the world’s most weather-beaten areas.

According to Ulstein, the design allows the ship to withstand rough sea conditions while enhancing safety, stability and sustainability.

The X-Bow also facilitates smoother sea crossings, quicker transit speeds, and reduced fuel consumption and emissions, Ulstein said.

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