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SunStone Maritime Group is a Danish family-owned business with offices in Copenhagen, Denmark, Portugal and the United States. Since its founding in 1990, the organization has only focused on the passenger ship sector.
Niels-Erik Lund, the company’s Founder, continues to serve as the CEO of the Group. He has done so since its inception. Now his two sons, Carsten Lund and Christian Lund, are full-time employees of the company and will, in the coming years, take over the business.
Since 2004, the organization’s main goal has been to expand exclusively within the expedition cruise market. Since then, the company has acquired 12 expedition cruise vessels. Over the years, six of these have been sold again, and in 2017 the company signed a contract for a series of newbuild expedition cruise vessels called the Infinity Class.
With the delivery of six Infinity Class vessels, there are currently 12 vessels under SunStone’s control. All vessels are owned by SunStone, some with one or two partners.
SunStone differentiates itself by being a pure tonnage provider to the expedition cruise industry – as opposed to being a cruise company selling tickets – by chartering out its vessels on long-term charter contracts to travel agencies and tour operators across the globe.
Many clients of SunStone have been with the company for more than 10 years, including Travelopia-owned Quark Expeditions. The charters are either year-round or multiyear summer or winter charters.
SunStone is a one-stop shop for travel companies, where it, in addition to the full technical operation of the vessels, can arrange all other vessel-related products and services such as hotel operations, spa and shops, port and fuel operations, as well as expedition and cruise staff. This arrangement gives the travel companies a unique opportunity to only focus on marketing and the sale of tickets.
As the last ship of the Infinity Class will be delivered in 2025, SunStone has for the past two years been working on the next series of expedition cruise vessels, named the Boundless Class. The plan is to sign newbuilding contracts within 2023 for the delivery of up to 10 newbuild vessels from 2026 through 2030.
All vessels in the SunStone fleet are expedition vessels built to operate in very remote areas of the world, including the polar regions as well as warm-water areas such as the Great Lakes, the Baltics and the Far East.
These operations impose great requirements on the safety and comfort of the vessels, as well as the skill of the crew. For this reason, the SunStone newbuilds include features that go above and beyond what is required by law.