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VARD, one of the world’s major designers and builders of specialized vessels, is pleased to announce the successful handover of a second Expedition Cruise Vessel, Coral Geographer, to Coral Expeditions of Australia.

Following successful delivery of the sister ship Coral Adventurer in 2019, Australia-based Coral Expeditions ordered a second VARD 6 01 Expedition Cruise Vessel as part of its fleet expansion. The brand-new Coral Geographer is now ready to sail on new adventures after arriving from Vard Vung Tau, VARD’s shipyard in Vietnam. Her first maiden voyage with passengers will start from Cairns, Queensland, at the end of March.

The vessel’s VARD 6 01 design was developed by Vard Design in Norway in close cooperation with the customer. It has been specially tailored for personalized expedition cruises to remote and exotic destinations in Asia and Oceania. Coral Geographer is 93.7 meters long in total, with a beam of 17.2 meters. It has accommodation capacity for 120 guests. The on-board environment is geared for daily shore expeditions, lectures, and briefings, while finished to a high standard of comfort.

The vessel features public areas with ample open deck space. Staterooms with generous, open balconies occupy over half of the total vessel area. Original artwork sourced from indigenous communities in Australia visited by the company’s fleet grace the interiors. The ship features interior and ventilation systems provided by Vard Accommodation and is also equipped with Vard Electro’s state-of-the-art SeaQ product series for navigation systems, integrated systems, marine electronics, and electrical systems.

Mark Fifield, Group General Manager of Coral Expeditions says: “This is the second ship we are building with VARD. We are pleased with the result. We would like to place on record our deep appreciation for the professionalism and commitment of all the VARD staff involved in this project”.

Fredrik Hessen, General Manager of VARD’s Offshore and Specialized Vessels business unit, says: “We highly appreciate the great cooperation between Coral Expeditions and VARD. Together we have developed two excellent vessels for exciting adventures. We wish Coral Expeditions all the best and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.”

The sister vessels Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer have been customized to meet Coral Expeditions’ expedition product requirements in the Australian cruise market. With a focus on intimacy, high quality and optimal passenger experience, the vessels enable guests to experience exotic regional locations at close hand. Featuring advanced expedition tender capabilities and accommodation across four decks – from Bridge Deck Balcony Suites, Bridge Deck and Explorer Deck Balcony Staterooms, to Coral Deck Staterooms – the on-board environment is both comfortable and functional, allowing for relaxation, socializing, and daily shore expeditions.

Coral Expeditions is a pioneering Australian expedition cruise company in continuous operation for 35 years. It only operates purpose-built, specialized vessels designed to its exacting specifications. Following a fleet renewal programme, Coral Expeditions currently manages a fleet of three modern expedition cruise ships taking guests to some of the most beautiful but undiscovered regions of Australia, Asia-Pacific, South Pacific, and Indian Ocean islands. Over 8,000 travellers from all over the world travel with the cruise company every year.

VARD is one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels. Headquartered in Norway and with approximately 8,200 employees, VARD operates shipbuilding facilities in Norway, Romania, Brazil and Vietnam. Through its specialized subsidiaries, VARD develops power and automation systems, deck handling equipment, and vessel accommodation solutions, and provides design and engineering services to the global maritime industry.
VARD’s long shipbuilding traditions, cutting-edge innovation and technology coupled with its global operations and track record in constructing complex and highly customized vessels have earned it recognition from industry players and enabled it to build strong relationships with its customers.
The majority shareholder of VARD is Fincantieri Oil & Gas S.p.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of FINCANTIERI S.p.A. Headquartered in Trieste, Italy, FINCANTIERI is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and has, over its 200 years of maritime history, built more than 7,000 vessels.

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