By Published On: 3 Aug 2021

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The World’s first polar expedition vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been delivered to Ponant Cruises. Named Le Commandant Charcot, it’s a milestone in the ultra-luxury French expedition company’s drive for sustainable tourism.

The flag exchange ceremony for Le Commandant Charcot.
The flag exchange ceremony for Le Commandant Charcot.

The official hand-over of Ponant’s new polar hybrid electric LNG vessel took place at the VARD shipyard in Norway with a flag exchange ceremony. It makes the exceptional vessel the 13th ship in the Ponant fleet.

“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.”

Hervé Gastinel, CEO of Ponant.

Environmental credentials

Le Commandant Charcot has been six years in the making, drawing on the talent of a vast range of experts and designers. Indeed, it is the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship to run on LNG. The company see this as a major innovation that strengthens their commitment to sustainable tourism. In fact, Ponant’s world-first LNG vessel bristles with green credentials including 100% waste sorted on board and waste treatment.

Getting closer to nature

The new Le Commandant Charcot has a Polar Class PC2 rating, so she can maintain year-round operations in moderate multi-year ice conditions.

Indeed, Le Commandant Charcot will offer her 245 guests a truly intimate experience of nature. The vessel will enable them to get closer, with kayaking, hovercraft, hiking, ice fishing and more. There will also be lectures by renowned experts and opportunities for citizen-science.

Ponant’s new LNG vessel will sail the most remote corners of the planet, including the Geographic North Pole and Northeast Greenland’s National Park. In addition, she will visit Svalbard, the Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas, as well as Charcot and Pierre I Islands.

For more information visit the Ponant website.

About the Author: Jason Kerr

Jason is the founder and Managing Editor of The Luxury Cruise Review. He has a passion for travel, a weakness for espresso coffee and a love of Greek cuisine.

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