Ponant, the leading luxury expedition cruise line, has released an update on construction of their new, 92-cabin explorer ships and revealed plans for a world-first underwater lounge on each vessel.
The French owned line has ordered four of these new explorer vessels and the first two are due for delivery in the northern summer of 2018. Construction of Le Lapérouse is forging ahead with the laying of the first block, while the first sheet of steel has been cut for Le Champlain.
The milestones are significant as they officially mark the launch of the construction of this series of 4 sisterships.
Ponant have also revealed that each of the four luxury super-yachts will be fitted with a multi-sensorial underwater lounge. Designed in conjunction with the Architect – Member of the Institut de France, Jacques Rougerie, the exclusive design will be a world-first. Ponant is keeping details of the underwater lounge a closely guarded secret for now, only saying that details will be revealed in May 2017.
The first two sisterships will be operational for northern summer of 2018, while the next two ships, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville (previously named Le Kerguelen) will arrive in time for the northern summer 2019 season.
This new generation of ships flying the French flag will be fitted with the latest innovative green technology and will be certified 1C (Ice class). They will have a significantly lower environmental footprint, meeting the standards of the international Cleanship label (Bureau Veritas).
The new Ponant Explorer vessels will measure just 131 m / 437 ft in length which will enable them to drop anchor in the most inaccessible sites, where other ships do not venture. They will start their inaugural season in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, but their itineraries will also take them to the tropical and sub-tropical regions.