The Birth of Hondius: a Story in Pictures

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

As of the summer of 2019, our new polar vessel, m/v Hondius, will be cruising the crystalline waters of the polar regions, delivering dozens of wildlife-loving and adventure-seeking passengers to the most iconic locations in the Arctic and Antarctica. Until then, however, this advanced new vessel-to-be is little more than an assortment of steel plates and inscrutable machinery scattered around a cavernous Croatian shipyard.

Ship: m/v Hondius

The founding formations of a polar vessel

As of the summer of 2019, our new polar vessel, m/v Hondius, will be cruising the crystalline waters of the polar regions, delivering dozens of wildlife-loving and adventure-seeking passengers to the most iconic locations in the Arctic and Antarctica.

Until then, however, this advanced new vessel-to-be is little more than an assortment of steel plates and inscrutable machinery scattered around a cavernous Croatian shipyard. In fact, at this point it would be hard to imagine a functioning ship emerging out of all that mess, much less one of the world’s first Polar Class 6 cruise vessels.

But very soon it will, and if you look hard enough at the following pictures – which represent the first three months of Hondius’s development – you can almost see the completed ship peeking out at you, promising a future filled with some of the most unforgettable experiences to be found.

November: cutting and assembling section blocks

One of the basic units of a ship is its section blocks, comprising the vessel’s essential framework. Before these blocks are assembled, the ship is little more than engineering sketches on a drafting table – which don’t float nearly as well through pack ice.

December: laying the keel and start-day celebrations

The laying of the keel is considered the first official day of a ship’s construction and is usually marked by a celebration, much like a birthday. For Hondius, this event was December 11. So mark your calendars, RSVP before Halloween, and remember: Everyone loves cake.  

January: arrival of the main engines, generators, and pumps

The two engines arrived in late January, along with the generators and pumps. These twin diesel units make up the beating heart of Hondius, delivering a combined 4,100 kw of propulsion power, enabling the ship to reach speeds up to 15 knots, and generally keeping the whole show on the road. Because tow trucks are scarce in the polar regions.

February: remaining machinery, blocks, and future launch

The rest of the machinery (propeller, shafting, gearbox, boiler, and hotel/restaurant/galley equipment) will be delivered in February. Section blocks will continue to be outfitted, painted, and assembled until the safety launch, which will occur between May and June, 2018. If you want to see more of the vessel that will set the new standard in polar expeditions, check out the ship brochure, deck plan, and other details at our dedicated Hondius page.

Related cruises

St. Helena to Cape Verde
Up to $650 OFF

St. Helena to Cape Verde

Witness the northbound spring migration

HDS32-24 During the days at sea the chances of meeting whales are high. Witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas who join us in crossing the Equator (“the Line”).

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

20 Apr - 30 Apr, 2024

Berths start from:

2150 USD

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more
$1000 discount | code ARCTIC2024

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more

This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen's visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and the many opportunities to spot wildlife like whales, polar bears, seabirds, and walruses.

HDS03-24 This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen's visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and the many opportunities to spot wildlife like whales, polar bears, seabirds, and walruses.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

10 Jun - 17 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

6400 USD

North and East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice
Up to $3600 OFF

North and East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

HDS03d24 Combining our North Spitsbergen voyage (focusing on polar bears, bowhead whales, and pack ice) with our East Spitsbergen cruise (also emphasizing bears as well as the summer solstice), this program turns two equally amazing trips into one amazing Arctic...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

10 Jun - 24 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

6400 USD

East Spitsbergen, Home of the Polar Bear - Summer Solstice, Including Long Hikes
$1000 discount | code ARCTIC2024

East Spitsbergen, Home of the Polar Bear - Summer Solstice, Including Long Hikes

Discover the highest peaks, largest seabird colonies, and best places to spot polar bears along the eastern shores of Spitsbergen

HDS04-24 Experience the high Arctic summer solstice with an expedition that visits some of the top sites of eastern Spitsbergen. Our goal is to take you to amazing glaciers, fascinating historical sites, bountiful seabird colonies, and sprawling fjord systems...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

17 Jun - 24 Jun, 2024

Berths start from:

5000 USD

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS05-24 Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch sight of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

24 Jun - 3 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

5400 USD

Loading