Gladding-Hearn ShipbuildingDuclos Corporation, has started construction on the first of three new 600-passenger sightseeing vessels for Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises Inc. in New York.

A keel-laying ceremony was held at the Somerset-Mass., shipyard in January, in commemoration of Circle Line’s 70th anniversary. The new order follows the shipyard’s delivery of three sisterships for the company in 2009. Delivery of the first new vessel is scheduled for 2016.

 Costas Markou, president and chief operating officer of New York Cruise Lines, Circle Line’s parent company, said the new vessels would offer guests an enhanced sightseeing experience. “Notably, visitors will enjoy upgrades in classes of service and the introduction of a variety of new and innovative experiences, including improvements in content and entertainment options, viewing sight lines, as well as enhanced food and beverage selections.”

Like the previous Circle Line vessels, the new 600-passenger all-steel vessel, designed by DeJong and Lebet, Jacksonville, Fla., is 165'x34'.

The vessel will be powered by twin Cummins QSK-38M1 diesel engines, delivering a total of 2,600 hp and connected to ZF W3355 gear boxes, spinning 60", 5-bladed bronze propellers. The package will give the new vessel a top speed of 14 knots. For dockside maneuvering, the vessel is equipped with a 125-hp Wesmar bowthruster, powered by an electric motor. Two 140-kW generators will supply the ship’s service power.

The vessel will carry 8,200 gals. of fuel and 4,000 gals. of potable water. The pilothouse is equipped with port and starboard wing stations, in addition to the center console.

Interior accommodations include seating and tables for 275 passengers in the main cabin. The second deck will have seating and tables for another 150 passengers indoors, plus reserved seating for up to 50 VIP passengers and outdoor seating for 88 passengers. Aft of the pilothouse on the third deck will be outdoor seating for 84 passengers under a fixed canopy. The cabins are arranged for significantly improved concession areas, cocktail bars and wheelchair-accessible heads. Heating and air-conditioning will be supplied by a 210,000-Btu diesel-fired boiler and six 10-ton water-cooled chillers.

A crew room is located below the main deck and will be outfitted with storage cabinets, a refrigerator, shower and head, and walk-in cooler.     

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.