Aker Yards and G.A.P Adventures, a world leader in adventure travel, have signed on 9 September 2008 a contract on converting a ferry to an expedition cruise vessel.
The conversion work of MS Expedition is scheduled for delivery in April 2009 from Aker Yards in Rauma, where dismantling work has been going on since the design contract was signed in June.
Both contracts were signed by Aker Yards Lifecycle Services unit, which offers vessel upgrades, modifications, conversions, lengthenings, and engineering consulting.
The conversion work includes building of new cabins on former car decks, and the former tax free area will be converted into luxury cabins and suites. The main restaurant will be totally refurbished, and new service facilities created. An expedition cruise vessel also needs lots of special facilities for maritime activities.
"We are very pleased that G.A.P. Adventures have trusted us this contract", says Vesa Marttinen, VP, Aker Yards Lifecycle Services. ""It shows that our customers believe in our ability to take care of their needs during the whole lifecycle of their vessels".
"We're pleased to partner with Aker Yards, which is one of the top rated shipyards in its field," says Bruce Poon Tip, CEO of G.A.P Adventures. "Our exceptional marine program, led by our new ship the MS Expedition, takes our travellers to some of the most scenic destinations on earth, including Antarctica and the Arctic. It offers today's travellers a truly unique adventure of a lifetime."
MS Expedition, which was originally built in Denmark in 1972, is 105 metres long and 18.6 m wide. After the conversion the vessel will offer cosy cabins and large public areas for 120 tourists joining the vessel's travels in polar waters, from the land of penguins to that of polar bears, the Antarctica and the Arctic. Onboard you can find a large dining room, fitness centre, sauna and up to the theme the Polar Bear pub and the Albatross Bar.
Vesa Marttinen, VP, Aker Yards Lifecycle Services, phone +358 40 822 2910
Aker Yards ASA (www.akeryards.com) is an international shipbuilding group focusing on sophisticated vessels. The group has a strong position both in terms of innovation, product range, technology, experience and capacity. The product range includes cruise vessels & ferries, merchant vessels and offshore & specialized vessels. Aker Yards comprises 15 yards in Brazil, Finland, France, Norway, Romania and Vietnam, in addition to ownership in yards in Germany and Ukraine. Aker Yards has approximately 16,000 employees.
Aker Yards Lifecycle Services is a division with comprehensive knowledge in ship technologies offering upgrades and modifications, conversions, lengthenings, and engineering consulting, as well as services related to dry dockings, maintenance and spare parts. The market of today demands continuous updates of cruise and passenger ship interiors and systems, especially those related to passenger comfort and performance. Aker Yards Lifecycle Services offers comprehensive service partnership to satisfy the operators' service needs.
About G.A.P AdventuresG.A.P Adventures is a world leader in the adventure travel industry offering small group adventures on all seven continents and beyond to more than 85,000 global travelers annually. The award-winning trips, which focus on culture, nature and active travel, are ideal for those with a sense of adventure - people who want to leave the beaten path and authentically immerse themselves in a local culture or environment to experience the real world in a sustainable manner. Demonstrating its ongoing cultural, social and economic commitment to responsible tourism, G.A.P Adventures established the Planeterra Foundation, as a way the company and its passengers can give back to the communities visited. For more information, please visit www.gapadventures.com and www.planeterra.org