SunStone Maritime Group: Refining the expedition ship experience

Following on from the success of its Infinity-series ships, SunStone Maritime Group is looking to perfect the expedition cruising experience with a new design. Niels-Erik Lund tells Alex Smith more

SunStone Maritime Group: Refining the expedition ship experience
SunStone Maritime Group is building on the design of the Infinity series for the Boundless series, says Niels-Erik Lund

Since the debut of Greg Mortimer in 2019, SunStone Maritime Group’s Infinity-series ships have provided their passengers with unforgettable expeditions across the world.  

Five vessels are now currently sailing on long-term charter agreements, with Ocean Odyssey and Sylvia Earle joining the fleet after delivery from the China Merchant Heavy Industries shipyard in Haimen, China, in October 2022. 

“We are very pleased with Ocean Odyssey,” says Niels-Erik Lund, CEO of SunStone Maritime Group. “The ship was delivered on charter on 20 November 2022 to Vantage Deluxe World Travel and is operating cruises very successfully. Meanwhile, Sylvia Earle made her way from China to Ushuaia, Argentina, to sail for Aurora Expeditions, and everything on the journey went perfectly. With its arrival, we now have five finished Infinity-class vessels on charter and operating successfully.” 

A sixth ship, Ocean Albatros, is then set to join the fleet in spring 2023 when construction is completed in Haimen. SunStone has also now chosen to take up an option for a seventh and final ship, which is yet to be named and will be delivered in August 2025. 

However, the Group is already looking ahead to its next series of ships, building on the foundations of the Infinity series. 

“There are a few things that we have learned and will take forward into our next series of ships, the Boundless series,” says Lund. “For example, we are moving the Zodiac loading points midship to avoid interference from the propellers as they launch. On Infinity 80 per cent of cabins have balconies, on Boundless we will have 100 per cent  of cabins having balconies, which is something we’ve discovered passengers want via their feedback.” 

Whereas the Infinity class was primarily designed to operate in polar waters, the Boundless class is intended to be more versatile, with new design features that deliver comfortable sailing in both warm and cold weather climates. 

“The ships will feature a bigger pool deck and larger outside restaurants. We’ve learned from our passengers that they love to be outside in the evening, whether it’s warm or cold, so we chose to expand that area. The Boundless ships will therefore be even more flexible than the Infinity series.”

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Review for FREE here to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox or your door.

Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
20 April 2023