Futuristic Radisson Diamond: 21st Century Cruise Ship Delivered By Finnyards
The $125 million SSC Radisson Diamond, promoted as the revolutionary cruise ship concept of the 21st century because of her SWATH technology, was recently formally christened in London at week-long festivities. Ceremonies for the 354- foot, twin-hull luxury ship were held at the Greenwich Buoy on the River Thames. "Greenwich is where world time begins, and with the christening of this ship, we are celebrating the beginning of a new time in the world's cruise industry ," said Christian Aspegren, president and cofounder of Diamond Cruise Inc.
Built by Finnyards Oy in Rauma, Finland, the Radisson Diamond is owned by Diamond Cruise Inc., a joint venture that includes shareholders Radisson Hotels International and Scudder, Stevens and Clark's New Europe Fund, both of the U.S.; Pohjola Insurance Co., Finnyards and Kansallis Banking Group, all of Finland; and Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Life and Nippon Total Finance, all of Japan.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the internationally renowned opera star, served as the ship's godmother. Other important dignitaries at the christening ceremony included: Juergen Bartels, president of Carlson Hospitality Group Inc., the parent company of Radisson Hotels International; Curtis L. Carlson, founder and co-chairman of Carlson Companies, Inc.; and Ari Tolppanen, chairman of the board of Diamond Cruise Inc.
The ship' summer itinerary offers cruises in the Baltic and Mediterranean. It will then embark on its inaugural Atlantic Crossing from Genoa, Italy, to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., recreating the voyage of Columbus on the 500th anniversary of the historic event. The homeport will be San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it will offer Caribbean cruises of four, five and seven days.
"We are most excited to mark the expansion of Radisson Hotels International into the cruise business with such a premier project," said Mr. Bartels. "The SSC (Semi-Submersible Craft) Radisson Diamond is destined to redefine the standard of excellence in the 'ultimate deluxe' segment of the cruise industry," he added.
According to Mr. Bartels, the vessel's stability is achieved by its Small Waterplane Twin-Hull (SWATH) design, which offers superior seaworthiness. The propulsion machinery is placed in the ship's submerged hulls beneath the waterline, minimizing ship vibration and eliminating most of the engine and propeller noise.
The 20,000-ton twin-hull Radisson Diamond has a unique four-stabilizer fin design and is 420 feet long, 103 feet wide and has a draft of 26 feet. Passenger capacity is 354 with a crew of 192. The four stabilizer fins, supplied by Brown Brothers, are some of the largest ever made, and, in combination with a KaMeWa fault tolerant control system, provide independent control of pitch, roll and heave.
KaMeWa also supplied the ship's two controllable pitch propellers. There are two propulsion plants comprising Wartsila Vasa 6R32E and Wartsila Vasa 8R32E diesel engines utilizing heavy fuel 380 cSt/ 50 degrees C.
Auxiliary power is provided by one Wartsila Vasa 12V22HF-D diesel generator, rated at 1,740 kw, and one Wartsila Vasa 8R22HF-D, rated at 1,160 kw.
The ship features 177 luxury class cabins, most with private balconies that overlook the sea.
The Radisson Diamond offers complete facilities for corporate conferences and incentive groups. Of particular interest to business executives is the ship's state-of-theart communications technology, such as the direct-dial telephones, facsimile machines, computers, printers and the availability of satellite communication networking.
A 230-seat lounge called "Windows" located on the eighth deck at the bow offers a sweeping panoramic view of the ocean. Besides the Grand Dining Room, there is also "The Grill," a 110-seat indoor/outdoor Stern view of the uniquely shaped Radisson Diamond. specialty restaurant overlooking the sun deck.
Other recreational facilities aboard include a 40-person casino, library, underwater viewing room, large outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, spa and fitness center, saunas, golf driving range and workout room. A special hydraulically operated floating marina at the stern offers a staging area for water recreational sports.
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