Janssonius keel-laying ceremony at Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia

The new 196-passenger polar class expedition vessel  HondiusYesterday Oceanwide Expeditions’ newest vessel m/v Janssonius had its keel-laying ceremony, the traditional shipbuilding event that marks the official “birthday” of a vessel.

This ceremony took place at Brodosplit shipyard in Split, Croatia, and celebrates the formal start of Janssonius’s construction. Aside from the ship launch, which for Janssonius is planned for late summer 2021, the keel-laying ceremony is one of the most significant dates in the life of a vessel.

Janssonius and her upcoming program

Janssonius is designed in the same fashion as our last ship, Hondius, and will be a Polar Class 6 vessel with a passenger capacity of 170 in 80 cabins and a crew of 72 that includes hotel staff, ship crew, and expedition guides.

Upon the launch of Janssonius next year, she will begin her voyages in the Antarctic season.

The significance of the keel-laying ceremony

A keel-laying ceremony traditionally describes the placement of a keel, the main fore-and-aft section of a ship’s frame that connects the stem to the stern.

But since modern ships like Janssonius are usually built out of prefabricated modules and blocks, the ceremony more often describes the first joining of these components or the lowering of the first module into the building dock. For this reason, it is often called “keel authentication,” as some blocks may have been built months beforehand.

Yesterday’s Janssonius keel-laying ceremony (June 2) was attended by Oceanwide Expeditions founder and shareholder, Wijnand van Gessel, and the COO, Mark van der Hulst, and other principal members of Oceanwide and Brodosplit.

(Oceanwide Expeditions, Brodosplit)