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New Polar Explorer Is the Epitome of French Luxury and Science, Tops Superyachts

An exciting premiere in the cruising world is paving the way for a future where sustainability, luxury and science converge. Vard announced the delivery of the world’s first hybrid electric polar exploration ship for Ponant, a French luxury cruise ship operator.
Vard recently delivered Le Commandant Charcot for Ponant, a French luxury cruise ship operator 24 photos
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It’s hard to imagine that a scientific purpose, such as researching water, air, ice, and biodiversity in polar environments, can be served by a luxury cruise ship that boasts all the extravagant accommodations and features that are only typical for the most prestigious superyachts. Yet, this is exactly what the new Le Commandant Charcot is all about.

There’s a growing appetite for exploration cruises, where the guests on board get to visit some of the most extreme areas in the world. This ground-breaking French vessel is a Polar Class PC2 ship, meaning that it’s an icebreaker, qualified for Polar expeditions. But that’s not all. It’s also the world’s first hybrid electric ship of its kind, with LNG (liquefied natural gas) propulsion.

A truly innovative explorer, Le Commandant will also integrate several green technologies, including 100% waste sorting and treatment on board. And, like a proper vessel for scientific research, it’s fitted with adequate facilities and equipment for that purpose.

But the most surprising part is that Le Commandant boasts luxury services that are “never before offered” in this type of environment. The 135 suites and staterooms can accommodate 245 guests, each of them having a private balcony. The most exclusive suites feature private terraces and Jacuzzis, while the “Shipowner's Suite” on the 8th deck is built with wide sliding glass doors that open onto a 1,937 square feet (180 square meters) terrace, for a breathtaking view.

Each of the common areas reflects the unmistakable luxury of the French style, with a focus on maximum luminosity. The lucky guests will have access to not only two restaurants, one of which is a panoramic one, and the other an outdoor one, but also to a unique Observation Lounge. Also, for pure indulging during a polar expedition, they can relax in the indoor swimming pool or at the spa.

Le Commandant Charcot will be sailing in some of the most remote areas of the world, including the geographic North Pole, Northeast Greenland’s National Park and the Larsen Ice Shelf.



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