MARSEILLE – PONANT, the world’s only French-flagged cruise line and leader in Polar expeditions, will be expanding its fleet with the addition of four new ships from VARD, the Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian Fincantieri group.
VARD will build the new ships for PONANT with delivery of the first one expected in 2018. The ships will be equipped with the latest environmental preservation technology, and will join the company’s Le Ponant and its sister ships – Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial.
Each new build will be small-capacity in keeping with PONANT’s philosophy. They’ll feature 92 staterooms and have a crew of 110, and will be able to easily manoeuvre and reach sites that larger vessels cannot access.
Onboard the new ships, PONANT will continue to provide five-star expeditions to the polar regions. Blue Expeditions, for instance, will focus on exploring Oceania, its lagoons and secret islands, while Green Expeditions will take passengers to South America’s best preserved sites, Orinoco River in Amazonia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea or the Indian Ocean.