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Vard delivers Ponant's Le Commandant Charcot, world's first LNG/hybrid expedition cruise ship

PHOTO: NICOLAS DUBREUIL/PONANT CRUISE_Le_Commandant_Charcot_Photo_Ponant_Nicolas_Dubreuil .jpg
Le Commandant Charcot was developed by Ponant, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and Vard
Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard Søviknes delivered the one-of-a-kind Le Commandant Charcot to Ponant.

This hybrid exploration vessel propelled by LNG was developed by Ponant, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and Vard.

'The construction of this prototype ship demanded extremely high standards in terms of quality. I am proud of the work that our teams have accomplished,' Ponant CEO Hervé Gastinel said.

Highest ice-class, purpose-built cruise ship

Built to Polar Class 2 standard, it is the highest ice-class, purpose-built cruise ship, able to operate year-round in moderate multi-year ice conditions.

There are some icebreakers in expedition cruising, but Le Commandant Charcot will be the only one originally commissioned for cruising, setting it apart from repurposed vessels like the Russian research ship Kapitan Khlebnikov and the nuclear-powered 50 Years of Victory that were built to pilot scientific and cargo ships to hard-to-reach areas of the Arctic.

Le Commandant Charcot was built to carry passengers to locations such as the geographic North Pole (90 degrees north latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island.

First hybrid cruise vessel with ice-breaking capability

It is the first electric hybrid cruise vessel with ice-breaking capability and dual fuel propulsion, featuring high-capacity batteries and LNG storage on board.

The 30,000gt Le Commandant Charcot measures 150 meters/492 feet, with a beam of 28 meters/92 feet.

It accommodates 245 passengers in 123 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 235.