Ponant has announced the name of its newest polar exploration vessel: Le Commandant Charcot. The hybrid electric icebreaker has been named in honor of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who was known as “the gentleman of the Poles,” the cruise line said. Le Commandant Charcot is scheduled to launch in 2021.

The new ship will have a number of technological features aimed at minimizing its environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research, Ponant said. Itineraries will offer passengers a chance to sail the Geographic North Pole (latitude 90 degrees North) and parts of Antarctica, such as the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter Island, that were inaccessible prior to the arrival of the ship.
Ponant’s new polar vessels will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Additionally, Le Commandant Charcot will be fitted with a number of other environmentally friendly features. “Cleanship” equipment exceeding the requirements imposed by current environmental regulations will result in the reduction of SO2, NOₓ, CO2 and particle emissions, Ponant said. Much of this reduction is due to the use of LNG, and there will be zero emissions when operated in hybrid electric mode.

The ship also employs an energy optimization with the latest-generation of electric batteries that make it possible to stop the engines for two to three hours. In addition, there is an advanced waste water treatment system.

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Pre-bookings on Le Commandant Charcot at early bird prices were available as of September 6, 2018. Full-fare bookings will begin on April 4, 2019.

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