Ponant's 184-passenger Le Laperouse was christened in Reykjavik Iceland on Tuesday, July 10. Le Laperouse is the first of 6 similar cruise ships that will double the size of the French luxury expedition line by 2020.
The official naming ceremony featured a patriotic hymn from Brittany that is home to Ponant CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvee, a brief address in French by Iceland's first lady, and music from Breton pipe band Bigad de Lann Bihoue, that is the only remaining professional band in French military.
Maryvonne Pinault, wife of the chairman of Ponant's parent company, Artemis Group, who served as godmother to the newbuild, snipped a blue, white and red ribbon which sent a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on the steel hull of Le Laperouse.
Named for French explorer Jean Francois de Galaup Laperouse, the ship will set sail on a circumnavigation of Iceland on her inaugural cruise, which is full ship charter to Tauck company.
Ponant's 184-passenger Explorer-class ships feature larger cabins than the previous class, carrying 264 guests at double occupancy. They boast an expansive watersports deck and marina, as well as an underwater lounge named the Blue Eye, capturing audio from the ocean and converting it into vibrations in furniture.