Ponant Orders Two New Ships
French cruise line Ponant has signed an 300 million euro ($330 million) agreement with Fincantieri for the construction of two new-generation luxury expedition cruise vessels and the option for a third.
Fincantieri has already built four Ponant vessels Le Boréal, L'Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, delivered respectively in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015. Vard, Fincantieri's Norwegian subsidiary, is already building a series of six Explorer-class vessels for Ponant and will also deliver Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered by LNG, to Ponant in 2021.
The new ships, both due for delivery in 2022, will represent an evolution of the Explorer-class vessels and will operate in the South Pacific areas for Paul Gauguin Cruises. They will be built by Vard group's production network, and they will be about 11.000 gross tons with the capacity to accommodate about 230 passengers on board.
They will be equipped with battery systems that allow smokeless operation at anchor, in ports and in environmentally sensitive areas. Ponant says, for the first time in the world of cruising, the two new vessels will cut their engines and cease all emissions each day during each stop, for nearly 10 hours per day.
Ponant finalized its acquisition of the Paul Gauguin brand in September.