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Norwegian ship designer Ulstein Design & Solutions has secured a contract from China Merchant Group (CMG) to design and provide an equipment package for a new cruise vessel.

The ship is part of an order placed by US-based SunStone Ships in March to CMG for the construction of four expedition vessels, with options for an additional six vessels.

The Ulstein CX103 expedition cruise ship is set to measure 104.3m in length and 18.4m in width, and will accommodate 255 persons, including passengers and staff.

Ulstein Group deputy CEO Tore Ulstein said: "We have been working systematically to establish a position within this segment through innovation centred around customer needs, and are very pleased to announce this breakthrough within the expedition cruise.

"This is a strategically very important contract for us and we are very pleased that we were chosen for this project."

The company has noted that the hull will be built in accordance with polar class PC6 regulations and will comply with Safe Return to Port and Virtual Anchorage standards.

Ulstein Design & Solutions managing director Eva Kristensen said: "This is a strategically very important contract for us and we are very pleased that we were chosen for this project.

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"The team effort and cooperation between the ship owner, interior designer, yard, broker, sub suppliers and our employees has been very good.”

The ship will be built at the China Merchants Heavy Industry yard is currently scheduled for delivery in 2019.