Just when it seems the luxury cruise segment is the one with the most growth, the expedition market starts to boom too. Both Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Hurtigruten have newly detailed ships on the way in addition to the likes of the Scenic Eclipse and those from Ponant.
TUI Group subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has just announced plans to build two new 5-star expedition ships to set sail in April and October 2019 after a constriction period of 20 months. Each will be rated to the highest PC6 Polar Class passenger ship designation and manufactured at the Norwegian Vard shipyard of Vard Holdings Limited, a shareholding of Italian Fincantieri.
“The cruise business is one of the key elements of TUI’s growth strategy,” said Sebastian Ebel, member of the Executive Board of TUI Group in charge of Cruises. “Our ambitions are underpinned by our investment in the two new ships for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ luxury and expedition cruise segments serve as world-class benchmarks.”
One ship will cater to German-speaking markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and the other will cater to those in addition to Belgium, the UK, Netherlands and the US. They will measure in at 16,100-gross tons, 138 meters in length, 22 meters in width and 5.4 meters in draft with 7 passenger decks above. 120 cabins and suites, a high ratio of which will feature balconies, will accommodate 240 passengers served by up to 170 crew members.
Architectural designs (as rendered above) will be drafted by Oceanarchitects. Public rooms on each ship will include three restaura
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