Norwegian shipyard Vard has secured a contract to design and build a new luxury expedition cruise vessel for Germany-based cruise company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The new ship will form part of the HANSEATIC series and is set to join the two other Hapag-Lloyd Cruises vessels that are currently being built by Vard.

The vessel will be specifically developed to conduct cruise operations in the polar regions of the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as warm water destinations such as the Amazon region.

"The 16,000t vessel will comprise seven passenger decks, as well as 120 cabins and suites to accommodate a total of 230 passengers."

It will be designed by Vard in partnership with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and is expected to feature a length of 139m and a width of 22m.

The 16,000t vessel will comprise seven passenger decks, as well as 120 cabins and suites to accommodate a total of 230 passengers.

In addition, the ship will be equipped with a water sports marina along with spa and fitness areas.

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The vessel’s hull will be built by Vard in Romania and delivery is currently scheduled to take place from Vard Langsten in Norway by the second quarter of 2021.

Vard CEO and executive director Roy Reite said: “We currently have two vessels under construction to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in 2019, and it is our honour to be awarded with this latest contract for their new luxury expedition cruise vessel.”

Vard has also signed a new contract with GTT to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks for an expedition ship known as PONANT Icebreaker as part of a separate development.

PONANT Icebreaker will be the first electric hybrid cruise ice-breaker to be powered by LNG propulsion. It is expected to be delivered by 2021.