Ponant’s new hybrid electric icebreaker ship, set to launch in 2021, will be named Le Commandant Charcot, in honor of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, a French scientist famous for his exploration of the poles.
The name reflects Ponant’s vision for Le Commandant Charcot—it will bring guests to the Geographic North Pole and Antarctica, including the Ross Sea, Charcot Island, and Peter Island. According to Ponant, both Charcot Island and Peter Island had been inaccessible prior to Le Commandant Charcot’s debut.
The ship took three years to plan and will now take an additional three years to build, will be powered by a hybrid LNG and battery system, being able to sail for about 100 days on that power alone. It will sail with 270 guests in 135 cabins.
Pre-bookings at discounted prices are now open.
Ponant is currently in the midst of a growth period that will see its fleet grow to a total of 12 ships and 460 departures by 2021. Aside from the icebreaker ship, Ponant will also expand its Explorers Series, with a fifth and sixth ship added on top of existing plans earlier this year.
Those ships will sail with 92 cabins each, including four suites featuring bay windows and terraces on each ship. Two will arrive this year (Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain), two more in 2019 (Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville), and then the last two in 2020 (Le Bellot and Le Surville).