Le Lapérouse, the first ship in Ponant’s new Explorers series, is entering the final stages of its construction. The new luxury expedition cruise ship has arrived in Norway, where its construction will continue in the Vard shipyard.
Transferred by rail, then lowered into the water by synchrolift on December 18, 2017, in Romania, Le Lapérouse reached the Norwegian shipyard of Vard, a subsidiary of the Fincantieri group, where construction will be completed. The ship was towed by BB Troll, and sailed through the Mediterranean, passing Gibraltar, the Bay of Biscay and crossing the English Channel to reach Norway and the Vard shipyard.
Le Lapérouse will be the first of the four expedition ships, the Ponant Explorers, to launch in June, followed by Le Champlain, set for delivery this fall. Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville will be operational in 2019.
The new ship will be moderately sized, Ponant said, with 92 staterooms and a length of 430 feet. The ship will be designed with a number of environmentally friendly features, earning a “Clean ship label” from Bureau Veritas. It will also allow Ponant to offer a number of new itineraries in tropical and sub-tropical regions, the cruise line said.
Other highlights include an underwater lounge, dubbed Blue Eye, designed in collaboration with the architect Jacques Rougerie, that will allow passengers to see, hear and feel the underwater world.