Damen has partnered with Expedition Voyage Consultants to build a specialist Damen cruise ship that can carry around 100 passengers.
The firm claimed that the cruise ship will combine Expedition Voyage Consultants’ operational experience with its own shipbuilding excellence to offer great experiences in luxury travel.
Damen product director Henk Grunstra said: "This expedition ship will be a significant advance in the market, making it possible for expedition companies to deliver their customers the best expedition experience. This ship will be able to offer innovative and exciting itineraries with a higher level of safety, economy and comfort.
"Capable of visiting virtually any destination, the design will offer cruise lines the option of including activities such as helicopter operations and submersible diving alongside traditional small boat landings and watersports. Innovative design features for smooth operations and an immersive guest experience will be incorporated from the experience of Expedition Voyage Consultants."
This move has been made to take advantage of the fast-growing expedition cruise sector, which has seen expansion into remote destinations.
Explaining further, Grunstra added: "Expedition cruising requires small, comfortable and highly capable vessels that customers can be confident in, no matter if they are cruising Polynesia or the Northwest Passage. With the existing tonnage aging and environmental regulations tightening, it is important that operators have vessels they can rely on well into the future."
This follows a previous cooperation with Expedition Voyage Consultants’ sister company, EYOS Expeditions, which led Damen in developing a Polar Code-compliant expedition yacht; the SeaXplorer.
Expedition Voyage Consultants and EYOS Expeditions CEO Ben Lyons said: "This vessel will be capable of taking expedition cruise passengers beyond the usual range in terms of both geography and experience.
"The vessel’s high ice capability and endurance make her globally capable, and she will be equally at home in the tropics or polar waters. She is designed to be a multi-functional platform equipped with all of the tools an operator might need."
Grunstra added, "This partnership brings two industry leaders together; Damen has unparalleled experience from building over 5500 vessels, including complex vessels such as passenger ships, offshore patrol vessels, sail training vessels and superyachts. EVC has decades of expedition knowledge operating voyages from the polar regions to the remotest tropical islands. Combining this will create an exceptional product."