Victory Cruise Lines announced recently that it will add its fourth vessel, Ocean Discoverer, which was designed by Sunstone Ships.
Victory is operated by American Queen Steamboat Company, a Hornblower company. Currently under construction, the Ocean Discoverer will be delivered in September 2022 and will join Ocean Victory in Alaska in 2023. Ocean Discoverer will make its debut with the Discover Beyond Alaska Expedition Adventure Cruise itineraries, which are currently available for booking on board the Ocean Victory. The shipyard building the vessel was not disclosed.
“We are pleased to welcome our second Alaska-bound expedition ship and expand our Victory Cruise Line experiences,” John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat, said in a prepared statement. “Following the success of our inaugural season on the Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes and coastal New England, we are excited to continue that momentum with the new Ocean Discoverer and look forward to showcasing the very best of expedition cruising in Alaska.”
As part of Sunstone Ships’ Infinity-class of expedition ships, Ocean Discoverer was designed for in-depth destination access and exploration, while promoting responsible and sustainable travel. Providing world-class accommodations and amenities, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions led by expert marine biologists, scientists and naturalists throughout the 12- to 13-day expedition voyages.
The 8,500-ton, 104.4-meter (342′), 200-passenger Ocean Discoverer will be identical to the Ocean Victory and feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine French balconies and 16 panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 and boast a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, observation and lectures lounges, piano bar, library, gym, spa, swimming pool with a pool bar and jacuzzi.
Once complete, Ocean Discoverer will share the same design, technology and operating efficiencies as the Ocean Victory. Signature elements include a patented X-bow design which is designed to create a smoother, more comfortable ride to lower noise and vibration levels and consequently seabed disturbance; Rolls Royce zero speed stabilizers to reduce rolling and, therefore, make cruising more comfortable for guests; and dynamic positioning (aka “virtual anchoring”) — a computer-controlled system that automatically maintains the vessel’s position utilizing its own propellers and thrusters resulting in top-rated ship maneuverability. Lastly, the smaller size and draft of the new cruise vessel allows it to dock in many of Alaska’s smaller ports not accessible to larger cruise ships.
The Ocean Discoverer will also utilize Victory Cruise Lines’ partnership with the Department of Marine Biology at California Polytechnic State University to feature marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among the ship’s expedition team. This along with the vessel’s fleet of zodiacs and kayaks, will provide guests with many opportunities for active and responsible adventure and up-close wildlife viewing.