Tour operator Ponant has completed the first LNG bunkering of a cruise ship in France.
The firm carried out refuelling operations for its new high polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, in Le Havre in the North of France.
“The boldness of this project is not just about taking passengers to the far corners of the Arctic and the Antarctic, it is about doing it safely and following the same values and principles of seamanship that move us,” Hervé Gastinel, CEO of Ponant, commented.
Polar Class 2-rated
The vessel has been classified as a Polar Class 2-rated icebreaking vessel, capable of reaching remote polar destinations, and is powered by a hybrid power plant running on LNG and electric batteries.
“Our values are first about respect for nature – this nature that is so dear to us, all the more knowing how much we owe the oceans and the fragile eco-systems we travel. Polar regions in particular deserve the highest respect and attention. We are committed to this mission every day and today ever more,” Gastinel said.
Measuring 150 metres in length, the vessel is powered by four Wärtsilä 14V31DF and two Wärtsilä 10V31DF engines. Built in Romania, the vessel launched early last year and completed its first test trip through the Arctic in June this year.
Onboard research facilities
The luxury cruise ship features an indoor swimming pool, conservatory, and multiples restaurants and has capacity for 245 guests and 235 crew members. Onboard science facilities will also allow staff to conduct research, providing a platform for observation, research and analysis to study the polar eco-systems.
“Le Commandant Charcot, was designed with the highest attention in mind in terms of safety, comfort and respect for the environment in order to sail and explore the extreme and far-reached territories of the Arctic and the Antarctic, in complete self-sufficiency,” a spokesperson for Ponant said.
Headquartered in Marseille, France, Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) is a niche French cruise ship operator, with a fleet of eleven ships. To celebrate the vessels arrival in France, Ponant held a launch ceremony attended by Anne Manipoud-Charcot, the great-grand-daughter of the famed French polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot after which the ship is named.