The First Float of m/v Hondius

by Oceanwide Expeditions News 09.07.2018

On the morning of Saturday, June 9, a newly constructed polar expedition cruise vessel slid down the timber-and-steel slipway of a sprawling Croatian shipyard, plunging into the pale blue waters of the rocky Adriatic coast. The launch of this vessel, one of 28 new expedition ships currently on order, might have seemed commonplace, even insignificant, to the world at large.

Ship: m/v Hondius

Regions: Antarctica, Arctic

A bottle is broken, a ship is launched, a star is born

On the morning of Saturday, June 9, a newly constructed polar expedition cruise vessel slid down the timber-and-steel slipway of a sprawling Croatian shipyard, plunging into the pale blue waters of the rocky Adriatic coast. The launch of this vessel, one of 28 new expedition ships currently on order, might have seemed commonplace, even insignificant, to the world at large.

But for us, it was anything but another day at the office. This event marked the first time our new build, m/v Hondius, the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel and the only ship we’ve designed from the ground up, became acquainted with the sea. It was one fine day and a moment we’d been waiting months, indeed years, to enjoy.

The heart of Hondius: why we’re so excited

As a PC6 vessel, Hondius is no ordinary expedition cruise ship — if such a phrase even makes sense. When she rolls into full operation next summer, she’ll be one of the most advanced civilian vessels on the polar seas, outfitted with all the latest, greatest, and greenest nautical technology.

Not only that, her modestly sized 174-passenger build will fully uphold the cherished Oceanwide tradition of flexible, small-scale cruises while at the same time including a host of interactive workshops, presentations, and performances we’ve not yet offered on any other vessel.

This means that, though our guests will continue to enjoy access to locations the larger ships can’t visit, they’ll also be able to partake in many of the perks traditionally offered only by the bigger (but far less nimble) cruise vessels.

Life after the launch

For us here at Oceanwide, Hondius represents more than the mere continuation of our small-scale polar expedition spirit. It also shows our passengers what else we’re capable of offering. “We’re thrilled with how she looks,” says Oceanwide COO Mark van der Hulst, who along with majority shareholder and owner Wijnand van Gessel, was present for the launch at Brodosplit shipyard. “We can’t wait to get her out for sea trials.”

These sea trials, which go pretty much how they sound, test the durability and operational performance of the ship before it can take on consumer passengers. The tough and technically advanced build of Hondius, however, leaves little doubt that she will exceed these trials, ensuring her safety and speed throughout the most rugged Arctic trip or Antarctic voyage. Hondius will be complete as of May 2, 2019, which to us (and the many passengers just as excited as we are) seems like a very long time from now. Even so, we have no doubt it will be well worth the wait.

Related cruises

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more
$1000 travel credit | 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:

5000 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 travel credit | 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:

4000 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

Around Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

HDS06-24 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:

3 Jul - 12 Jul, 2024

Berths start from:

5400 USD

Loading