Vard wins contracts for 2 more luxury expedition cruise vessels from Ponant

The ice-class expedition cruise vessels are about 10,000 gross tons, about 131 metres long and 18 metres wide.
The ice-class expedition cruise vessels are about 10,000 gross tons, about 131 metres long and 18 metres wide. PHOTO: STIRLING DESIGN INTERNATIONAL

SINGAPORE - Shipbuilder Vard Holdings said on Wednesday (March 7) that it has secured contracts for the design and construction of two luxury expedition cruise vessels for French cruise company Ponant.

The two new vessels will be identical to four sister vessels that Ponant ordered from Vard in 2016. These vessels are designed for voyages to tropical destinations and remote ports only accessible to small capacity ships.

The ice-class expedition cruise vessels are about 10,000 gross tons, about 131 metres long and 18 metres wide. Each vessel can accommodate 180 passengers in 92 staterooms and suites, each with a spacious balcony.

The hulls will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania. Delivery is scheduled from Vard Soviknes in Norway, in the first and second quarters of 2020 respectively.

The first vessel in the series of six will be delivered in the second quarter of 2018. The next three vessels will be delivered in the period from autumn 2018 to summer 2019.

The two newly contracted vessels will be delivered in 2020.

Vard will also deliver to Ponant an expedition cruise icebreaker in 2021. Vard said this would be the first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker powered by LNG and dual fuel propulsion.

In a separate filing on Wednesday, Vard's Italian parent Fincantieri, which has proposed to privatise and delist the company, was disclosed to now control 80.64 per cent of Vard as at the end of Tuesday.