PONANT, the only cruise line which operates flying the French flag, has taken delivery of its first of six new PONANT EXPLOER class vessels.
On 15 June 2018 the 9,900 gross tonne Le Lapérouse was successfully delivered to PONANT. The new ship measures 131 metres in length and cost approximately £80 million.
The new ship left the shipyard in Ålesund, Norway on 16 June and will arrive in Reykjavik in Iceland on 19 June for the start of her seven-night maiden cruise.
Le Lapérouse features state-of-the-art environmentally friendly equipment. The ship boasts just 92 staterooms, each elegantly designed. Spacious suites with large windows offer a lounge area that open outside.
Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO and Co-Founder, PONANT, said: “Le Lapérouse is a wonderful achievement for the company and the result of intensive teamwork with Vard and Fincantieri. From remarkable nautical performances to technical excellence and offering an extraordinary level of comfort, everything is in place for the PONANT EXPLORERS series to be a huge success”.
The new vessel features a world first, known as the ‘Blue Eye’. The innovative underwater lounge allows passengers to discover and experience to underwater world via two large portholes in the form of a cetaceous eye, looking out on to the sea bed. Non-intrusive underwater lighting and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep sea, as well as Body Listening sofas, offering a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.
The second PONANT EXPLORER class vessel Le Champlain is expected to launch later in 2018. Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d'Urville will launch in 2019, whilst Le Bellot and Le Surville will launch in 2020.