Sea trials of Ponant‘s first of six Ponant Explorers series of ships, Le Lapérouse, have been successfully completed in Norway this month.
Le Lapérouse underwent her sea trials in Ålesund at the Vard Shipyard, a subsidiary of Fincantieri. The tests, which form part of the last stage of construction, are also the first opportunity the new ship has to show off her elegant lines in open water.
“These sea trials are a real success for the company. Remarkable nautical performances, technical excellence, a high standard of comfort, everything is in place for the Ponant Explorers series to be a real triumph” says Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant.
The first cruises on board LeLapérouse start from Iceland in June 2018. The ship will then cruise the Mediterranean, then head via the Indian Ocean and Asia to Australia for her first season of expedition voyages to New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands (February 2019), Melanesia and Australia’s Kimberley region (May to August 2019).
Construction of the five other ships in the Ponant Explorers series is well underway. The steel-cutting ceremony for the fifth and sixthvessels, Le Bellot and Le Surville, scheduled for delivery in 2020, took place on 4 April in Romania. More recently, Le Champlain reached Norway on 27 April to complete the final phases of her construction. Her inaugural cruise will take place on 25 October in Honfleur, France.
The construction of LeBougainville and Le Dumont d’ Urville progresses on the Vard shipyard in Tulcea in Romania; the ships are scheduled for delivery in 2019.