(11:48 a.m. EDT) -- Hondius, a new polar expedition ship for Oceanwide Expeditions, was floated out at the Brodosplit shipyard in Croatia earlier this month. The ice-rated Polar Class 6 ship is scheduled to launch in June 2019.
"I'm very pleased with the quality of the ship, which is already quite well equipped, with built-in drive and a lot of equipment for passenger and crew accommodation," said Wijnand van Gessel, owner of Oceanwide Expeditions in a statement released by the Brodosplit shipyard.
The ship now enters the outfitting stage of the building process, with cabins and furnishings being added.
When it launches, it will carry 196 passengers in 85 cabins, including seven suites with balconies, eight cabins with French balconies and a variety of inside, outside, porthole and quadruple rooms. It also will feature a large observation lounge that encompasses an entire deck, and a separate lecture room for simultaneous or multi-language lectures and presentations.
--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor