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China Merchants Industry Holdings (CMIH) held a steel cutting ceremony in Haimen on March 16 for the first of ten expedition vessels ordered by Miami-based expedition vessels provider SunStone Ships.

Under the deal announced last year, the Chinese shipbuilder would construct four expedition ships for SunStone with options for six more vessels.

The newbuild will feature Ulstein’s X-Bow design, with options for additional nine vessels to integrate the design as well.

The hull will be built in accordance with polar class PC6 and complies with the notation Safe Return to Port and Virtual Anchorage, Ulstein said.

The first ship of the batch will have the capacity to accommodate 255 persons including passengers and staff.

The vessel will be operating for Aurora Expeditions, and has been named Greg Mortimer.

The ice class 1A vessels will be 104 meters long and 18.2 meters wide, featuring up to 95 passenger cabins.

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