French-owned cruise line PONANT announced the keel laying of its new hybrid electric polar exploration ship Le Commandant Charcot. The company plans to incorporate all the latest innovations in environmental protection and in doing so hopes to make itself a model of responsible tourism.
Shipbuilders laid the keel for Le Commandant Charcot at the Vard shipyard in Tulcea, Romania on December 14, 2018. The occasion came about a year after PONANT first announced the ship's order in December 2017 and a month after its traditional steel cutting ceremony in November 2018.
PONANT expects Le Commandant Charcot to become the first exploration vessel to surpass the ecological standards set out in international regulations. The ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), reducing its emissions.
With the second key stage in the ship’s construction still on schedule, PONANT expects Le Commandant Charcot to launch in 2020 and to be delivered in 2021. Designed for polar exploration, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, the new ship will be able to travel to destinations around Antarctica like the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter I Island, as well as the geographic North Pole.
Created in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers of the French Merchant Navy, PONANT specializes in luxury cruising. Its itineraries combine exceptional destinations and luxury hotel service, aboard smaller-scale ships.