Ponant announces two new ships for its Explorer fleet

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As Ponant celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the company announces an order for two additional ships in the Ponant Explorer series. The only French cruise ship owner is consolidating its position as the world leader of luxury expeditions with a fleet that will consist of 12 ships by 2021.

A fleet of 12 ships in 2021 for unique travel experiences on all the world’s seas

With a fleet of 12 ships, 2000 crew members and 460 departures planned for 2021, Ponant will cover all the world’s seas.  The company is remaining loyal to its philosophy of sailing to places where others do not venture, offering a selection of authentic journeys to exceptional destinations: Antarctica, Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, or the Scattered Islands, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and even the roof of the world, the Geographic North Pole and the Northeast Passage.

Two additional expedition ships in the Ponant Explorer series: Le Bellot and Le Surville

The latest order has been placed for two additional sister-ships, delivery of which is scheduled for the first and
second quarters of 2020. Like the four previous vessels, the construction of these two new ships will be entrusted to Norwegian shipyard Vard, part of Fincantieri Group. Combining moderate size (just 92 staterooms and suites, each with a balcony), refined design, cutting-edge technology and respect for the environment, they will comply with the international CLEANSHIP label (Bureau Veritas).

The six Ponant Explorers fleet will be fitted with a world first: the “Blue Eye”

This multi-sensorial underwater lounge, a major innovation, will allow passengers to discover and experience the underwater world via two portholes in the form of a cetaceous eye, looking out on to the seabed, non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as Body Listening sofas, offering a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.

Collaboration with Jean-Louis Étienne: sailor, mountaineer and explorer

Jean-Louis Étienne was the first man to have reached the North Pole solo and to have made the longest crossing of Antarctica with a dog sled, and now he joins Ponant for cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.


The Ponant expedition cruises with Jean-Louis Etienne will allow passengers to benefit from the combined expertise of Ponant and this great explorer on the subject of the ecosystems of the polar regions, notably through a number of conferences aboard ship.
“I am delighted to work with Ponant and thrilled by the idea of sharing my passion for the Polar regions with guests. Ponant is renowned for its great expertise in polar expeditions, and we share a great respect for these fascinating regions as well as the pioneer spirit that typifies explorers and great sailors,” said Jean-Louis Étienne.
“Not only do we share a fascination for the polar regions, but Ponant also shares with Jean-Louis Etienne profound convictions about environmental issues as well as a certain vision of travel, inspired by so-far unexplored destinations,” said Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant.

Expedition cruises with Jean-Louis Étienne 

New Year’s Day in the polar regions
 An unforgettable expedition cruise to discover the Antarctic Peninsula and its extraordinary wildlife in the magic of the icy wilderness. Outings and shore visits in Zodiac dinghies with an experienced team of naturalist-guides, visits to scientific bases and former whaling stations, an educational experience with respect for the environment.
Volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands (New itinerary)
A fabulous journey between Russia and Alaska, tracing the Pacific Ring of Fire, will take you to the magnificent Aleutian Islands, close to the most active volcanoes on the planet. Visit Kiska, an island dominated by a volcano more than 1000 metres high; discover Elfin Cove, a charming fishing port accessible only by boat or seaplane; and enjoy outings and shore visits in Zodiac dinghies, to get close to the wildlife: whales, orcas, seabirds, grizzly bears.

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