This September PONANT, the world leader in luxury expeditions, celebrated the launch of its highly anticipated Le Commandant Charcot, the world's first PC2 hybrid-electric luxury polar exploration vessel (pictured above - © Studio PONANT Nathalie Michel), powered by liquified natural gas, the cleanest source of energy at sea.
“Our values are first about respect for nature – this nature that is so dear to us, all the more knowing how much we owe the oceans and the fragile eco-systems we travel. Polar regions deserve the highest respect and attention. We are committed to this mission every day and today even more,” says Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT.
Le Commandant Charcot is the only passenger ship in the world with a PC2 polar class shell, ensuring total safety and the ability to travel through channels inaccessible to other expedition ships. All the while being at the forefront of eco-friendly sailing: the ship’s fit-out was created with recycled materials, during the journey recyclable drinking containers are provided for guests and crew, hybrid propulsion is utilised and energy consumption controlled. Marine ecosystems are honoured and protected with a range of technologies, such as bottom and sea-creature detectors, electronic positioning systems that make anchoring redundant, as well as reducing noise and vibrations to not disturb sea life.
Bringing together these state-of-the-art elements and the company’s deep-rooted respect for nature, Le Commandant Charcot is one of the most eco-friendly ships to explore the far corners of the Arctic and the Antarctic. Education is also a key component during voyages. Passengers will learn invaluable insights from polar experts on board, on Zodiac® outings and onshore excursions, covering topics such as biology, history, geology and the study of the ice and the oceans. And that’s not all, during expeditions, scientists will share their knowledge and invite guests to participate in various research projects.
The vessel’s contemporary interior spaces were designed by Jean-Phillipe Nuel and Jean Wilmotte – their concept pairs understated luxury with modern touches. Passengers can immerse themselves in the ship’s unique atmosphere as they retreat to one of the 123 suites and staterooms, ranging in size from 20 to 115 m², each with its own private balcony. Those looking for added comfort and space can book one of the 118 m² duplex suites split over two levels, with a secluded terrace and private jacuzzi.
Le Commandant Charcot also features world-class dining by renowned chef Alain Ducasse at one of the two restaurants as well as a range of wellness options including a spa, hair salon, sauna and a snow room. The views of the breathtaking polar landscapes can be enjoyed in The Blue Lagoon, an outdoor pool heated by recycled energy, or on the outdoor promenade deck with heated seating areas. Those seeking thrill and adventure will enjoy new immersive activities, such as kayaking, dog sledging, hiking or snowshoeing, ice fishing and polar diving.
To find out more, head to the Le Commandant Charcot Website