Canadian accommodation ship operator Bridgemans Services Group has turned to the cruise sector for its latest vessel acquisition.

The Vancouver-based company bought the 8,300-gt Ocean Diamond (built 1974), a 226-berth expedition cruise ship, from Diamond Cruise Partners, a group of investors linked to Miami-based SunStone Ships.

The vessel is an unusual purchase for Bridgemans, which has either bought or chartered midsize to large ropaxes to provide accommodation services to its clients in the offshore LNG, mining and construction sectors.

President Brian Grange said that due to strong interest from project proponents, the company wanted an accommodation ship “sized to support projects in their earliest stages or to supplement accommodation at peak workforce”.

The ship, soon to be renamed Diamond XI, “fulfils those needs and does so with comfort, practicality and safety”.

“Diamond XI is a beautiful ship that perfectly suits resource and other projects requiring premium accommodation space for up to 350 beds, catering, entertainment and more,” he added.

Bridgemans said the ship is being converted for its new role, raising its capacity to 350 berths in 150 cabins.

Conversion work on Bridgemans vessels has been undertaken by the Estonian marine and offshore refit and engineering specialist SRC Group.

S&P Global’s International Ships Register indicates that Bridgemans has assigned technical management of its latest purchase to Tschudi Ship Management.

Scheduled to be available for charter anywhere in the world within several months, the ship will have a renovated dining room, a 200-seat auditorium, fitness facilities and offices with 45 workstations.

The Ocean Diamond was built in Norway as a conventional ro-ro and operated as such for a decade until its Norwegian owner, Fearnley & Eger, caught the cruise bug and converted it into the deluxe cruise ship Explorer Starship.

Several years later, under the name Song of Flower, it was used to launch the luxury cruise line Radisson Seven Seas, today known as Regent Seven Seas.

SunStone took on the ship in 2011 and put it out on charter to a variety of expedition cruise operators. That role came to an end with the Covid-19 pandemic, when it was placed in lay-up and put up for sale.

Bridgemans’ last purchase was the 35,200-gt ropax Isabelle (built 1989), acquired from Estonian ferry operator Tallink in July 2023 and converted into the 650-berth accommodation ship Isabelle X. Currently under the Canadian flag, it is stationed in Squamish, British Columbia providing accommodation for the Woodfibre LNG project.

The company’s third accommodation ship, the chartered 34,000-gt, 634-berth Saga (built 1981), also a converted ropax, is being used in conjunction with an airport project in Manila.