Ponant ordered a luxury icebreaker with an electric hybrid system powered by liquefied natural gas, from Fincantieri’s Vard. The 270-passenger, a 30,000gt ship is scheduled for delivery in second quarter 2021.
The PC2 Polar Class hull of the PONANT Icebreaker was designed with Aker Arctic to combine forward sailing modes through compact ice and reverse sailing in extreme ice conditions, thank to the Double Action principle (Aker Arctic DAS™). With its innovative design, the PONANT Icebreaker offers unrivalled ice performances compared with classic icebreakers.
It will have three restaurants, spa and wellness facilities, 16 Zodiacs and two helicopters. With 135 staterooms/suites, the French-flagged vessel will be environmentally friendly and certified as a “Clean Ship.” It will also allow Ponant to explore never explored polar destinations, such as the true geographic North Pole (90 degrees North Latitude) as well as such remote spots as the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea and Peter Island.
“With this extraordinary tool for exploration we are going to have available, we are working with a brand new concept in travel. The PONANT Icebreaker is going to enable us to visit places previously unexplored until now due to their extreme remoteness. I’ve already imagined winter expedition cruises across the Nunavut ice field, and to Greenland, to get within close proximity of the Inuit camps.
Our passengers will be able to leave the ship and go out onto the ice for an immersive experience of this hunting people’s way of life. Similarly, we will also be able to get up close to the emperor penguins that inhabit the ice shelves in the Antarctic. As for the Geographic North Pole, it will no longer be an inaccessible dream. PONANT will soon have at its disposal the very first passenger ship capable of reaching this mythical destination,” said Nicolas Dubreuil, Head of expedition at PONANT.