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PONANT Looks to the Future, With News of the Innovative Polar Exploration Ship Le Commandant Charcot

May 22, 2020 Cruise No Comments Email Email

“Despite cruising being on pause for the moment, at PONANT we have been busy behind the scenes as we continue with the next and final stages in the construction of Le Commandant Charcot, our future high-polar exploration ship” reports Monique Ponfoort, PONANT Vice President Asia Pacific.

“The segment-defining luxurious Le Commandant Charcot, our hybrid electric polar exploration vessel propelled by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), left the Vard shipyard and has arrived at the Søviknes shipyard in Norway to complete the next stages of her construction before awaiting delivery in April 2021.”

Monique added: “In 2021-2022, her inaugural season, Le Commandant Charcot will take her 270 guests to far flung polar destinations in absolute luxury, many accessible for the first time. This is not exaggeration. Our guests will be able to experience the Arctic, including the very furthest north one can travel, the Geographic North Pole, and down south, the far reaches of the Antarctic, much of which still remains practically unexplored, while travelling in luxury on the most environmentally sensitive of ships offering unprecedented experiences: imagine seeing these icy panoramas from a hot air balloon, exploring on electric hovercraft, assisting scientists, or, for the qualified, diving beneath the ice.”

An exceptional ship designed to minimise its environmental impact

Le Commandant Charcot will be the first hybrid electric ship running on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), a major innovation marking PONANT’s commitment to sustainable tourism. This PC2 Polar Class ship is designed to safely sail in extreme polar regions while consuming the cleanest energy available.

An opportunity for scientific research and conservation

PONANT has announced Le Commandant Charcot will be made available to the scientific community. With laboratories, equipment, dedicated staterooms and personnel, the ship will offer a platform for observation, research, and analysis, thereby participating in the global effort to study and conserve the poles. Thanks to its cutting-edge technology, Le Commandant Charcot will be able to access remote areas that were previously difficult for scientists to reach.

Additional information regarding the PONANT fleet

  • With over 30 years of expedition voyage experience, PONANT’s purpose-built luxury expedition ships provide the same high operational standards as operated in the Arctic and Antarctica across all voyages polar and tropical reflective of PONANT’s position of the world leader in luxury expeditions.
  • All PONANT expedition voyages are accompanied by an experienced expedition team, experts in their fields, keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm both while exploring ashore and back onboard to give guests a greater understanding of these unique destinations.
  • Recognised and awarded for its commitment to environmental preservation, PONANT has a zero-impact disembarkation protocol, aimed at preserving delicate environments and cultures.
  • Purpose built small expedition ships provide the opportunity to get closer to shore and explore areas inaccessible to larger ships. Enjoy experiences far from the mainstream cruise highway, with intimate experiences you will remember for a lifetime.
  • 2020 will see all six of the new Explorer class ships in the PONANT fleet operational Le LapérouseLe ChamplainLe BougainvilleLe Dumont D’UrvilleLe Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier reinforcing PONANT’s position of having the world’s most modern fleet of expedition ships.

When PONANT was forced to cease operations on March 15, the company deployed a plan to shelter its ships and crew members until the resumption of its operations. The small size of its vessels, the medical infrastructure and teams on board, its protocols and the professionalism of its crews ensured that there were no cases of Covid-19 contamination throughout the fleet.

Information & Reservations

Details of all PONANT voyages including expeditions, pricing and shore excursion highlights are available at

Contact your travel agent, or PONANT’s Consultants on 1300 737 178 (Australia) or 0800 767 018 (New Zealand), or email to obtain assistance and information.

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