The new hybrid-electric icebreaker ship of Ponant, due to launch 2021, will be named Le Commandant Charcot, to honor the French scientist famous for exploration of the poles, Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot.
The name reflects company’s vision for Le Commandant Charcot and is expected to bring passengers to the Geographic North Pole and Antarctica - Charcot Island, Peter I Island and Ross Sea. According to Ponant, both islands had been inaccessible prior to the debut of Le Commandant Charcot.
The icebreaker took 3 years to plan and will take an additional 3 years to build. It will be powered via hybrid LNG and battery system, allowing it to sail for around 100 days on that power alone. Le Commandant Charcot will sail with 270 passengers in 135 staterooms. Pre-bookings at discounted fares are now open.
Ponant is in a growth period that will see line's fleet grow to 12 ships and a total of 460 departures by 2021. The company will also expand Explorers Series, with a 5th and 6th ship added. Those ships will sail with 92 staterooms each, including 4 suites featuring terraces and bay windows. Two will arrive i n 2018 (Le Laperouse and Le Champlain), 2 more next year (Le Bougainville and Le Dumont dUrville), and the last 2 in 2020 (Le Bellot and Le Surville).