Vard hands over fourth ship in Ponant’s Explorers class

Le Dumont d'Urville will operate a maiden season of Baltic cruises followed by sailings along the French coasts and in the Mediterranean PHOTO: Fred Michel/Ponant

Fincantieri subsidiary Vard delivered Le Dumont-d’Urville, the fourth ship in Ponant’s Explorers series and the ninth in its fleet.

The ship was delivered June 14, on schedule, and left Søvik in Norway for Bergen, ready to begin its maiden cruise in early August. It closely follows Le Bougainville, handed over April 5.

Fourth newbuild in 12 months

‘Such a delivery rate is a first in the history of the French merchant navy: this is the fourth ship in the Ponant Explorers series delivered in the last 12 months,’ Ponant CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvée said. ‘The substantial expansion of our fleet allows us to offer our guests an increasing number of destinations, exceptional voyages and high-quality services. Market feedback is indeed excellent with very high levels of bookings.’

Ponant said it is delighted with its ongoing collaboration with Vard and the design, construction and prompt delivery of the newbuilds.

Le Dumont-d’Urville has 92 staterooms and suites, all with balconies or private terraces. Elegant interiors and sleek exterior lines, along with the underwater, multi-sensory lounge Blue Eye, distinguish the Explorers series.

The ship’s maiden season begins with cruises to the Baltic capitals and St. Petersburg. Sailings along the coasts of France and in the Mediterranean follow. Theme cruises will highlight fine dining, wine tasting, music and other topics.

Next ship deliveries

Ponant’s next newbuild, Le Bellot, is scheduled for April 2020 delivery, followed by Le Jacques-Cartier in July 2020, rounding out the Explorers series. The one-of-a-kind icebreaker Le Commandant-Charcot is scheduled for May 2021.

Posted 17 June 2019

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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