VARD's Romania facility laid the keel for the new Hanseatic Inspiration for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on Wednesday October 18. It marks the next stage of construction for the second of two new expedition ships for the German brand.
The new ships will have the highest ice class available for cruise ships, PC6, and both are set to explore polar waters.
Hapag-Lloyd also confirmed the ships will be able to sail in the Great Lakes thanks to a retractable bridge wing that makes it possible for the vessels to fit through narrow locks.
At the ceremony, the cruise line’s CEO, Karl J. Pojer laid a specially produced coin in the first steel block of what will become the ship’s hull.
When the hull is floated out, it will be towed to a VARD facility in Norway for exterior outfitting. The cruise line takes delivery in October 2019.