On Thursday 29 July, PONANT took delivery of Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. A flag exchange ceremony took place at the VARD shipyard, a subsidiary of Fincantieri, in Norway.
It took six years of hard work to bring this unique ship, 13th in the PONANT fleet, to this point. The French company partnered with a vast range of experts in their fields to design and build this exceptional vessel, including Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and VARD.
“Delivery of Le Commandant Charcot is both a culmination and the beginning of a new kind of odyssey for the company. The construction of this prototype ship demanded extremely high standards in terms of quality. I am proud of the work that our teams have accomplished. We are welcoming into our fleet a ship that will offer so much more than just a voyage of exploration, but rather a truly inspiring and fascinating discovery of a still little-known polar world,” said Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT.
A ground-breaking ship designed for polar exploration
With only 123 staterooms, Le Commandant Charcot is the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), a major innovation that strengthens the company’s commitment to sustainable tourism. A Polar Class PC2 ship, her design includes all the latest ‘green’ technologies, such as 100% waste sorted on board and waste treatment. A “Ship of Opportunity”, she will be fitted with facilities and equipment for research, providing the scientific world with a platform for observation, research and analysis to study water, air, ice and biodiversity in extreme polar regions.
For guests, a host of activities will be on offer including citizen science, lectures by experts, kayaking, hovercraft, hiking, ice fishing and more. With room to accommodate up to 245 guests, Le Commandant Charcot will be sailing in the world’s most remote regions: the Geographic North Pole, Northeast Greenland’s National Park, circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago, the Bellingshausen Sea, Charcot and Pierre I Islands, Weddell Sea and the Larsen Ice Shelf.