MARSEILLES — PONANT has launched two additional vessels that will take its fleet to a total of 12 ships by 2021.
As the only cruise line carrying the French flag, the expedition cruising company will welcome fifth and sixth vessels to its innovative EXPLORERS series. These yacht-like ships, to be called Le Bellot and Le Surville, will launch in 2020 featuring 92 cabins onboard, balconies overlooking the sea, and four suites with bay windows.
These two vessels will join sister EXPLORERS ships Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville, launching in 2018 and 2019. Like the four already ordered, construction of Le Bellot and Le Surville will be entrusted to Norwegian shipyard Vard, part of Fincantieri Group.
These six EXPLORERS ships will offer the world’s first multi-sensory underwater lounge called ‘Blue Eye’, which will allow passengers to discover the underwater world via two portholes in the shape of a cetaceous eye. There will be non-intrusive underwater lighting, hydrophones that retransmit the natural symphony of deep water, as well as body listening sofas, which will vibrate in unison with the streaming aquatic acoustics.
PONANT also recently announced that it will launch the first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with luxury appointments in 2021.
The small-ship cruise line celebrates in 30th anniversary this year. By 2021, it will expand to include 2,000 crew members and 460 departures to places like Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and even the roof of the world at the Geographic North Pole and the North-East Passage.