Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, has delivered “Le Commandant Charcot”, a polar exploration vessel, for the French cruise company PONANT. It is the first-ever electric hybrid cruise vessel with ice-breaking technology and dual fuel propulsion, featuring high-capacity batteries and LNG storage on board.
Developed by PONANT, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and VARD (and built by Vard Tulcea in Romania and Vard Søviknes in Norway), the state-of-the-art exploration vessel was specially designed to bring passengers to discover the polar world’s extreme unexplored lands such as the geographic North Pole (90 degrees North Latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island. The unit, classified as Polar Class 2, will fulfill the highest standards for environmentally friendly and safe operations.
“Le Commandant Charcot”, which accommodates 245 passengers in 123 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 235 persons, is about 30,000 gross tons, about 150 meters long, 28 meters wide, and has a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. It will be fitted with facilities and equipment for research, providing the scientific world with a platform for observation, research and analysis to study water, air, ice, and biodiversity in extreme polar regions.
“The delivery of this amazing vessel is a true evidence of the high technical competence in our engineering and production departments. The technical result is unique; we are proud of the job we have done together, and we wish to thank everyone involved for the dedication and the commitment showed all along this project,” said Attilio Dapelo, General Manager Business Unit Cruise in VARD.