Goal: zero impact when sailing for PONANT’s 14th ship

True to its pioneering spirit, PONANT continues to explore all technology options, towards a more sustainable tourism. After last year’s launch of Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, hybrid electric powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the R&D team at PONANT is working on an eco-design cruise ship that will have no impact on the environment when sailing.

Coming soon, a 14th eco-design ship for zero impact navigation

Committed to responsible tourism, PONANT constantly strives to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations, protect marine ecosystems and support scientific research. For its next ship, 14th in the fleet, the company’s goal is to have no impact on the environment when sailing.

The new ship’s technical and commercial criteria have been established in consultation with all relevant departments. The aim is to deliver a ship that can combine several non-fossil fuel energy sources, including wind propulsion, by integrating technological bricks. The scope of work should be ready by end of 2022, with the preliminary plans then produced and technical specifications drawn up for a call for tenders. The goal is to have the ship up and running by 2025.

This new high-tech ship will be a sailing boat. As dual propulsion is always needed, this will also be innovative, probably with fuel cells.

Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT

For several months now we’ve been working on a new whole life cycle concept ship to reduce her ecological footprint. We’re assessing all the potential impacts: discharges into the atmosphere and water, microplastics, noise levels, and social and human impacts. As with Le Commandant Charcot, she will also be available to scientists. A total new generation ship needs to be designed and we intend to deliver it.

Mathieu Petiteau, New Building and R&D Director at PONANT

PONANT ramps up R&D to drive the ecological and energy transition

This 14th ship project is in line with PONANT’s six environmental commitments, one being to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. After the launch of Le Commandant Charcot, the company continues striving to minimise its ships carbon footprint. The R&D team’s mission is to identify and assess options most likely to accelerate the ecological and energy transition across the whole fleet.

In terms of energy efficiency and optimisation, structural modifications to ships and protecting ecosystems, there are many avenues to explore and progress. New generation biofuels are being assessed, like green hydrogen, as well as the possibilities for wind and water propulsion. PONANT is working with other industries and contributing to various European research projects to develop and test these technologies. As a company committed to more responsible tourism and meaningful exploration voyages for over 30 years, PONANT puts R&D at the core of its growth strategy to meet both the ecological challenges and demands of its customers and offer them new inspiring experiences.