ZAGREB, Aug 3 – A Coin Ceremony was held at the Brodosplit shipyard in Split on Friday with a coin being laid in the keel of a passenger ship for polar expeditions to be built at the dock for the US company Quark Expeditions.
“For the client the coin symbolically reflects a personal approach to polar expeditions,” Brodosplit said, adding that this the first time a ceremony of this kind was held at the shipyard.
The ship which will be named Ultramarine. It will be 128 metres long, 21.5 metres wide and will weigh 13,500 gross tonnes. It will sail out in 2020 and will be able to carry 200 passengers.
Brodosplit underscored that this is a new business step for the dock onto the market for passenger ships up to 200 metres in length.
Quark Expeditions was founded in 1991 and is part of the UK-based TUI Travel PLC Group of Companies. In 2016, it became part of Travelopia, a division comprising some brands from the former TUI Specialist Group. It specialises in expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic aboard purpose-built expedition vessels.
Brodosplit CEO Tomislav Debeljak told reporters that the client has expressed interest for the Split-based dock to construct more such ships and that the price of these cruise ships range from 100 million to 300 million euro.
“We don’t build tankers, we have been saying that from day one. Instead we have opted for building cruise ships, primarily for polar expeditions, and we are the strongest in that in the world,” Debeljak said.
He added that the “old structure” wanted to force Brodosplit to build tankers. “That is the structure that siphoned HRK 40 billion from Croatian citizens. We said, No, we are building ‘positive ships.’ That is harder but more positive for Croatia, for workers and for all of us,” said Debeljak.