Polar Class superyacht launched by Amels & Damen


Superyacht builders Amels & Damen have launched a Polar Class 62-metre luxury yacht – the first in the new Damen SeaXplorer range – ahead of delivery to its new owners early next year.

Equipped with expedition facilities for self-contained voyages of up to 30 days, the vessel includes a fully certified helideck and helicopter hangar, plus two large tender garages and a dive store.

Power generation is supplied by a Siemens BlueDrive system with three variable-speed generator sets and DC bus; which uses battery lines for in-vessel data communication. The BlueDrive system is based on the company’s diesel electric technology and is said to use less fuel, and a significant reduction in greenhouse gases, than similar designs.

The superyacht benefits from customised design with naval architecture completed by Damen’s inhouse design team and exterior lines by Azure Yacht Design.

Customised design

The interior design was created by Carlo Torre of Monaco Yacht Temptation, at the request of the owners, and the build was supervised by the Fraser Technical Team.

Outfitting of the Damen SeaXplorer yacht took place at the Vlissingen East yard in South West Netherlands. The facility is located a few kilometres from the yacht builder’s Vlissingen City yard where Amels yachts are completed.

The Damen SeaXplorer range was introduced in 2015, as part of a partnership between the SeaXplorer design team, the Damen Research Laboratory, Azure Yacht Design and EYOS Expeditions.

‘Heavy ice Polar Class reinforcement’

According to Damen: “The SeaXplorer is the world’s first private expedition yacht engineered to comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code category B with heavy ice Polar Class reinforcement.”

Without a Polar Code certificate – the IMO’s international code for ships operating in polar waters – yachts are prohibited from voyaging into extreme northern and southern latitudes above 60deg North and below 60deg South.

The IMO defines a Code B vessel as “one designed for operation in polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions”.

Damen designed the SeaXplorer range to be “not only ice-strengthening but also icebreaking”, which the builder attributes to its “double-acting hull”.

The double-hull construction method involves building a vessel in which the bottom and sides  have two complete layers of watertight hull surface. One outer layer forms the normal hull of the ship, and a second inner hull, which is typically up to a metre inboard, forming a barrier to seawater in case the outer hull is damaged and leaks.

Icebreaking bows generally have poor seakeeping behaviour, according to Damen. “Rather than accept any compromise on comfort and performance for the 99% of time the SeaXplorer is in low ice concentrations or tropical open waters, we decided on a double-acting hull. The bow is designed for optimal seakeeping behaviour while the stern has the icebreaking capability.”

On a roll … the 62-m SeaXplorer