Ponant’s LNG-powered polar exploration vessel nearing completion

Ponant’s first LNG-powered, hybrid-electric polar cruise and exploration vessel has set out for trials offshore Norway.

The 140 meters long icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot started its trials on April 16, according to the French cruise firm.

Norway’s Vard, a unit of Italy’s Fincantieri, is completing the luxury vessel at its yard in Søviknes. The ship designed for intense polar explorations previously arrived from Vard Tulcea in Romania.

Featuring a 270-passenger capacity, Ponant claims this is the world’s first LNG-powered, hybrid-electric passenger vessel to navigate in polar waters.

Moreover, the BV-classed ship will have Icebreaker 3 and POLAR CAT-A service notations, and feature POLAR CLASS 2.

The vessel has dual-fuel engines but also two GTT’s Mark III membrane technology tanks for a total capacity of 4500 cbm, enabling it to complete its entire voyage on LNG.

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