In March 2015, the major shipbuilder STX France unveiled a revolutionary new expedition ship design named “Ulysseas”. It represents an innovative idea for a small cruise ship (passenger capacity 200, ice-class hull, length 476 ft / 145 m, cruising speed 17 kn / 20 mph / 31 kmh) aimed at the expedition cruising market.
The main reason for the Ulysseas project is that currently, the expedition cruise market uses mostly second-hand vessels. Unique for this new ship design is the excessive usage of glass (in all public areas) and the French balconies (false balconies) on all passenger cabins. Every passenger-use facility on the new vessel features floor-ceiling windows. There will be an unique forward-located observation lounge for 360-degree views.
The Ulysseas ship’s aft-section is an STX-patented design for saving energy. This is a movable duck-tail, which position depends on cruising speeds and weather conditions. The vessel will be powered by two 2.5 MWT azipods (rotating at 360° Azimuth thrusters), with four diesel-electric generators and one scrubber. This cruise ship design also features a helipad (helicopter landing pad), a helicopter storage space (inside the ship), zodiac boats for ship-to-shore operations.