Luxury Ponant ship gets new Solid Sail

The luxury French expedition cruise line Ponant are accustomed to pushing technological boundaries, especially when it comes to environmental protection. Now they have gone a step further with the introduction of a groundbreaking Solid Sail® on Le Ponant, the line’s 32-stateroom flagship.

New Ponant icebreaker under construction

As the name suggests the Solid Sail® is quite different from a conventional sail. In fact it comprises panels made of fibreglass, carbon and epoxy-resin which sit in a carbon-slat frame.

Le Ponant will test the new Solid Sail technology for the next twelve-months.

Le Ponant will test the new Solid Sail technology for the next twelve-months.

Ponant tell us this new technology will significantly reduce energy consumption used for propulsion. Of course this also has the knock-on effect of reducing the environmental impact.

The CEO fo Ponant, Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, is excited about the potential of Solid Sail® technology. “Le Ponant, the historic sailing boat behind the company, continues to be the flagship of our fleet, and sail propulsion is without a doubt an energy of the future.”

Le Ponant has French chic and environmental credentials.

Le Ponant has French chic and environmental credentials.

The Solid Sail® on Le Ponant are the largest in the World. More than 300 sq.m. / 3,229 sq.ft. of Solid Sails have been installed on the three-masted Le Ponant in Marseille. This remarkable technology will propel the vessel across the Atlantic to Cuba and onward for the next twelve-months as it is tested and evaluated.

New Ponant and National Geographic expeditions

The Solid Sail® technology has been developed by another French firm, Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The company have over 150 years experience designing and integrating highly complex maritime technologies.

Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée says Ponant will be watching the outcome of the twelve-month tests closely. “Protecting the environment is a key priority for Ponant”, he said. Indeed, if the tests are successful the Solid Sail® technology will also offer a significant economic benefit too. Technological innovation delivering wins for both the environment and the bottom line.

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