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Fincantieri’s subsidiary Vard has delivered Le Commandant Charcot, polar exploration vessel to French cruise company PONANT.

The unique and state-of-the-art electric hybrid exploration vessel propelled with LNG has been developed by PONANT, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and VARD. The vessel is 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 fulfil the highest standards for environmentally friendly and safe operations. 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.

Le Commandant Charcot is 31,570gt, 150m long, and 28m. The vessel accommodates 245 passengers in 123 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 235 persons.

The ship’s hull was built in Romania and completed by Vard’s Soviknes yard in Norway. After initial fitting out at Soviknes, Le Commandant-Charcot was moved in July 2020 to Saint-Nazaire in France to be placed in Joubert dry dock for installation of its ABB Azipod propulsion system. The vessel was then returned to Norway for completion.