With feedback like ‘amazing experience’ and’ 'I’ll never again work on any other type of vessel in winter’ being stated by crews on X-BOW® vessels, it is hard to ignore the impact this hull innovation has had since it first appeared in 2005.
The X-BOW® not only ranks as one of the most visual representations of forward-thinking in ship design, but also as one of the most functional. The X-BOW vessels in operation or under construction rank from expedition cruise vessels to powerful workhorses such as offshore oil & gas service vessels and ultralong-distance towing vessels that must endure rugged conditions while still performing exact and precise work.
Being comfortable at sea
The X-BOW is renowned for its seakeeping capabilities in the rough sea.
Feedback from different vessel operators praises the smoothness of the X-BOW design in heavy seas. It’s even described as a ride of luxury by some.
"The overall comfort and quietness of the vessel is another real big plus. The comfort that the X-BOW provides is just incredible: I have not had a single bow slam the entire season! Also, speed is considerably less impacted in head-on seas. The Drake Passage is a much less dreadful place now." Captain Martin Graser, ‘National Geographic Resolution’
A similar experience has been reported from another vessel.
On 'Greg Mortimer's first journey, she came across very bad weather after leaving Cape Town heading for Ushuaia, Argentina. According to the Captain, the waves were 8-10 metres, with some waves reaching above deck 5, and strong winds. The vessel kept high speed of 12-13 knots, with only 1 knot speed loss.
“It’s a totally different experience! In big seas, I kept waiting for the slamming, but it never came. You don’t feel the sea, you have to relearn how to interpret the vessel behaviour. Other ships can only keep half the speed,” Captain Ulf-Peter Lindstrøm, ‘Greg Mortimer’
Another statement on the benefits of the X-BOW regarding comfort comes from the offshore industry.
“It is very silent on board, and very little vibrations. This is a good and pleasant workplace – also for the onshore technicians we’re transporting” Mikael Nielsen, Master ‘Windea La Cour’.
Even when going fast, the X-BOW provides comfort and gets the job done.
“I have never been on board a vessel that is so good to work and live in, both in transit and under operation. Other offshore vessels cannot match the X-BOW in getting quickly to a mission in bad weather.” Arvid Samdal, former Master Seven Viking
Rough weather is quite normal when working at sea, and this will delay operation and transit time. But not always.
“On my first trip we sailed into full storm with the waves head on - the perfect weather to demonstrate the X-BOW! We could keep full speed, which is not possible with a conventional bow.” Roy Petter Dyrdahl Torgersen, former First officer ‘Polar Onyx’
Another great proof of concept on the superior seakeeping capabilities of the X-BOW is very clear in the video of the ALP Keeper and ALP Sweeper. The documentation is filmed during their journey from Singapore to Luanda Offshore while towing an FPSO in Q2 2018. Wave height at the time of filming was approx 6-7 metres. Filmed by third engineer Jan Dootjes.
Reduced fuel and emissions
Noteworthy is the positive side effect of less hull resistance, leading to significant fuel reductions. This is a benefit to the owner, and the natural environment too, considering the reductions in CO2, NOx, SOx and PM emissions.
The focus on sustainable operations is a major priority within the exploration cruising industry. In 2021 the ULSTEIN designed CX103 X-BOW vessel ‘Ocean Victory’ was delivered to SunStone Ships. The charterer of this vessel is Albatros Expeditions in the Antarctica summer season and Victory Cruise Lines in the Arctic summer season.
According to a press release from Albatros Expeditions, the vessel will consume up to 60% deliver lower energy consumption compared to the sailing fleet, and thus, the lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per passenger in the industry.
The explanation for this is stated as follows:
“First of all, 'Ocean Victory' has Tier III compliant engines that limit the amount of nitrous oxides. Secondly, we only burn marine gas oil, which emits less CO2 per ton burned compared to a heavier bunker fuel. Thirdly, the patented and revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW® is fantastically efficient, especially with surf and in rougher seas(…).” Hans Lagerweij, former president of Aurora Expeditions
The 'Endurance' commenced her first Antarctica cruises in late 2021, and Leif Skog has now captained several Antarctica trips. His expectations prior to delivery were sky-high.
“The hull is outstanding. I am extremely satisfied with the hull performance in icy waters, it is actually better than I expected. The hull is very strong and suitable for the task. It is folding the ice down and is extremely silent when doing so, which I have not experienced with any hull before.“ Leif Skog, Captain, National Geographic Endurance
A vessel with a view
As the bow cuts through the waves instead of having the waves crushing at the hull, sea spray is reduced on deck. In safe conditions, the passengers can linger about on the observation decks, enjoying the surroundings, and taking photos with an excellent view down on the bow tip.
“Our guests have amazing, unmatched water views in the most remote wilderness areas, that’s quite incredible.” Monique Ponfoort, former CEO of Aurora Expeditions
Watch: How the ULSTEIN X-BOW® works on a cruise ship.
Please contact us for more information
Ulstein Design & Solutions AS
P. O. Box 278,Tel: +47 7000 8000
Ulstein Design & Solutions B.V.
Cornerstone Building (6th floor)Tel: +31 10 475 00 11
Rotterdam Airportplein 32
3045 AP Rotterdam
Ulstein Verft AS
P. O. Box 158,Tel: +47 7000 8000