Australian-based Aurora Expeditions has ordered its latest expedition cruise ship, the first such ship to feature Norwegian designer Ulstein's X-Bow.
The yet-to-be-named ship was designed in conjunction with U.S.-based SunStone Ships Inc. Built to Polar Code specifications, the ship will enter service in time for for the 2019/20 Antarctica season.
The X-Bow inverted bow concept was conceived in 2005 and has now been used in over 100 vessels. It's main advantage is its ability to pierce waves with greater stability than a traditional bow, says Aurora Expeditions, and it is also expected to improve fuel efficiency and reduce air emissions.
While a traditional bow vessel rises on the waves and then drops onto the surface of the water, an X-Bow vessel, less subject to the vertical motions induced by the waves, continues on course more smoothly, while maintaining its speed. This offers a more comfortable journey, says Aurora Expeditions, reducing noise and vibration as well as reducing ocean spray to ensure a safe and dry environment on deck.
“The vessel is the first to use the patented X-BOW technology which has the ability to pierce waves with much greater stability, making open sea journeys – like Antarctica’s notorious Drake Passage – more pleasant for passengers than what is currently available from other small ships on the market today,” said Managing Director of Aurora Expeditions, Robert Halfpenny.