Ponant reflects on environment commitment in 2019

Multiple accolades, Paul Gauguin take-over, sales top $624 million, air emissions focus

Spitsbergen © Studio Ponant | Olivier Blaud

International expansion, the delivery of a further two new ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series, and the acquisition of Paul Gauguin Cruises all contributed to Ponant achieving sales of €380 million (approximately AU$624 million) last year.

The modern Ponant fleet, which now includes 10 Cleanship certified ships, embarked 60,000 passengers on 350 cruises in 2019. In doing so, the company consolidated its position as the benchmark in small-ship luxury cruising to exceptional destinations and was awarded around thirty prizes recognising the signature feature of PONANT cruises: authentic immersive experiences in luxury.

Le Laperous, Maldives | © Studio Ponant | Charlotte Ortholary

Commitment to Responsible & Sustainable Tourism:

In June 2019 Ponant announced the creation of the Ponant Foundation, whose mission is to help preserve the oceans, the polar regions and to encourage exchange and collaboration with local communities. It has chosen to support a number of research, awareness-raising and conservation projects, including Plastic Odyssey, an association working to fight the plastic waste polluting the oceans; Conservation International, an NGO studying humpback whales in the Antarctic; and Pure Ocean, a foundation supporting nine applied research projects selected by scientists in the area of ocean protection.

In addition, Ponant has taken major initiatives affecting its fuel consumption in order to reduce its air emissions:

  • Fitting its ships with electric connections in order to use the quayside mains power supply in ports where this is available
  • Using biofuels as soon as they become available
  • Developing the hybrid nature of the ships, which are fitted with batteries in order to switch off generators at the quayside, when anchored, or when near inhabited areas
  • Limiting the average speed of its ships to 12 knots
© Studio Ponant | Nathalie Michèl

Limiting sulphur emissions (SOx)
From 1 January 2019, fleet wide, Ponant totally eliminated the use of heavy fuel oil. Ponant is the first cruise company to have taken this decision, for all ships and all oceans. By using a cleaner fuel (LS MGO – Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil), Ponant has an average sulphur emission level of 0.05%, 10 times lower than current maritime standards.

Limiting nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx)
Ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series have now divided their nitrogen oxide emissions fourfold by activating their catalytic converters 24/7. This is a unique initiative that has become a benchmark for the industry.

Offsetting carbon emissions (CO2)
Ponant has taken a decision that is unique on the cruise market, to offset 150% of the carbon emissions of its entire fleet. Ponant has been investing in Verified Carbon Standard certified projects for Amazon reforestation and the production of renewable energies in India.

Kimberley © Ponant | Nick Rains

The eco-design of the ships, reduction of single-use plastics, favouring short supply chains, optimal processing of waste water and recycling of waste, environmental impact studies and raising passenger awareness are also some of the actions carried out by the company to promote sustainable tourism.

CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, commented:
“Created by sailors keen to share their passion for the seas, for more than 30 years Ponant has been taking its guests to some of the most secret places on the planet, where nature reigns supreme. This choice places on us great responsibilities both to the environment and to local people. Not only do we want to practise our profession in a responsible manner, but in the years to come we wish to pursue our efforts to promote sustainable tourism and the values of maritime excellence that drive us.”

Learn more about Ponant’s vow to maintaining a sustainable future at https://au.ponant.com/sustainable-tourism.

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