The French premium travel brand Ponant launched what the company touts as "the industry's first luxury electric hybrid cruise ship."
Ponant's 13th fleet member and company's first "high polar" expedition ship (dubbed "Ponant Icebreaker"), Le Commandant Charcot was celebrated in the same destination from which the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1867-1936) departed on his first Antarctica expedition (1904-1907) to Graham Land (Antarctic Peninsula). Anne Manipoud-Charcot (the explorer's great-granddaughter) attended the ceremony in Le Havre, serving as the boat's godmother.
The Ponant Commandant Charcot yacht has GT tonnage 31757 tons, LOA length 150 m (490 ft), 9 decks, 135 staterooms (all with balconies), max passenger capacity 270 (plus 190 staff-crew), 16x Zodiacs (RIBs / large-capacity Rigid Inflatable Boats used for disembarkation, coastal cruising, landings), scientific laboratories (fitted with equipment for polar research and data analysis), fore-located Helipad (deck 6), 2 onboard helicopters (used for private flight tours).
The ship's inaugural Antarctic season features 6 new itineraries, ranging between 11-24 nights. Following the Antarctic season, the icebreaker will head north to the Arctic for summer season 2022 and include departures to the geographic North Pole.