Ponant, Bygg nr. 887 ved Vard Søviknes, VARD 6 17 "Le Commandant Charcot"


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Ponant har bestilt nok et cruiseskip ved Vard Søvknes, denne gang et på 30.000 brt og som kan gå i isen!

Den blir 150 meter langt og 28 meter bredt for plass til 279 passasjerer samt et mannskap på 180

Framdrift blir LNG og batteri for opp til 30 dagers drift på gass

Levering er satt til 2. kvartal 2021

Kontraktsverdi er på $324 mill (2.7milliarder NOK)

"Ponant Icebreaker" VARD 6 17 Electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with LNG propulsion


Illustrasjon: Stirling Design International


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Singapore, 19 December 2017 – Vard Holdings Limited (“VARD” or the “Company”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialized vessels, is pleased to announce that it has secured a contract for the design and construction of one luxury polar expedition cruise vessel for French cruise company PONANT. The contract value is approximately NOK 2.7 billion.

The unique and state-of-the-art electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with LNG propulsion is developed by PONANT, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and VARD. The vessel is specially designed to take passengers to polar destinations such as the true geographic North Pole (90 degrees North Latitude), the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Peter I Island. The Polar Class 2 icebreaker are fulfilling the highest standards for environmentally friendly and safe operations. It is the very first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with dual fuel propulsion, featuring high-capacity batteries and LNG storage on board. It will also be equipped with two helicopters in in-house hangars.

The Ponant icebreaker will be approximately 30,000 gross tons, about 150 meters long, 28 meters wide,
and will have a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. The vessel can accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 180 persons.

Mr. Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of VARD, commented: “This is a really exciting project for us, and we look forward to building the Ponant icebreaker for polar expedition voyages. VARD has a deep experience in icebreaking technology; over generations we have built several highly advanced vessels developed for operations in polar areas. It is a pleasure to continue the excellent cooperation we have with PONANT, Stirling Design International and Aker Arctic.”

The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania. Delivery is scheduled from Vard Søviknes in Norway, in 2Q 2021.

In addition to the Ponant icebreaker, VARD currently has four luxury expedition cruise vessels under construction for PONANT. The first vessel in the series will be delivered in 2Q 2018, followed by the delivery of the next three vessels in the period from autumn 2018 to summer 2019.

PONANT, a subsidiary of ARTEMIS Group and headquartered in Marseille, France, was founded in 1988 by Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen Merchant Navy officers. It has established itself as the reference for a new style of luxury cruises with its unique concept of sea travel, combining exceptional itineraries and five-star facilities aboard small capacity ships. Currently they operate a fleet of five vessels, and have four vessels under construction. PONANT is the only French-flag cruise line, and world number one for polar cruises. www.ponant.com


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The world's first luxury icebreaker cruise ship

Reach the Geographic North Pole, complete an Arctic Ocean crossing, discover Greenland’s extreme North East, or probe the icy wilderness of Antarctica…beginning in 2021, PONANT will be taking passengers in the footsteps of the great polar explorers aboard the newest addition to the fleet. With a refined onboard ambiance and luxury services—never before available in the far extremes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres—with this new vessel PONANT provides more than just conventional cruises, but true polar odyssey expeditions.

Sustainable development at the heart of its design

The first ever PC2 Polar Class luxury cruise ship, this hybrid electric icebreaker is powered by Liquified Natural Gas—cutting edge technology that makes PONANT a pioneer in environmental protection.

The Icebreaker features Perfected “Clean Ship” fittings that go beyond
the current industry-standard environmental regulations:

  • Reduction of SO2, NOX, CO2 and particle emissions thanks to the use of LNG
  • Zero emissions when in electric hybrid mode
  • Use of advanced diesel engine technology
  • Compliance with new IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 regulation on Sulphur emission levels
  • Compliance with ECA requirements (Emission Control Area)
Energy management
  • Energy optimisation system that precisely measures consumptions and optimisation of ship sailing methods
  • Waste Heat Recovery System
  • Electric output optimised and consumption reduced through the use of latest generation electric batteries
Water treatment
  • Advanced Waste Water Treatment system
Absolutely brand-new itineraries designed by ponant’s research and development department

Drawing on more than two decades of experience in sensitive regions, PONANT is the only cruise company in the world to design its future itineraries in-house, with its own expedition teams. Thanks to exploratory visits, Environmental Impact Assessments and the protocols developed by the company, the itineraries of the PONANT Icebreaker will be established with the greatest respect for the environment.

The PC2 Polar Class hull of the PONANT Icebreaker was designed with Aker Arctic to combine forward sailing modes through compact ice and reverse sailing in extreme ice conditions, thank to the Double Action principle (Aker Arctic DAS™). With its innovative design, thePONANT Icebreaker offers unrivalled ice performances compared with classic icebreakers.

Cabins and suites with balcony .................... 135
Including suites with patio doors and a private balcony .................. 68
Length ............................................................... 140 m
Width ................................................................... 28 m
Draught ................................................................ 10 m
Ice Class ............................................................... PC 2
Propulsion ................ LNG & Hybride electrique
Classification .................................. Bureau Veritas
Flag ..................................................................... French
Crew members .................................................... 187
Panoramic restaurants ......................................... 2
Grill restaurant ........................................................ 1
Spa & Wellness ........................................................ 1
Onboard expedition Zodiac dinghies ........... 16
Onboard helicopters ............................................. 2
Shipyard ............................................................ VARD
Delivery .............................................................. 2021

Kilde: Ponant


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Teknisk Ukeblad har ofte veldig gode artikler, spesielt dei somer skreve av Tore Stensvold:

Gass-hybride polarcruise: Bygger isbryter til 2,7 milliarder
Vard skal designe og bygge et luksus polarcruiseskip for franske Ponant.

Det blir verdens første cruiseskip med isbrytende egenskaper og gass-hybrid framdrift.

Framdriftssystemet med dual fuel-LNG-motorer og batterier, er utviklet i samarbeid mellom det franske cruiserederiet Ponant, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic og Vard.

Skroget bygges i Romania og utrustes ved Vard Søviknes. Total kontraktssum er på 2,7 milliarder kroner, opplsyer Vard i en pressemelding.

Skipet, som har betegnelsen VARD 6 17, skal leveres i andre kvartal 2021.

Ekstrem isbryting
Skipet får isbryteregenskaper med Polarklasse 2 og skal kunne ta med passasjerer til det geografiske Nordpolpunktet samt Antarktis. Polarskipet bygges med Bureau Veritas-klasse etter PC2 polarkode.

Det skal tillate seilas året rundt i moderate til flerårig is opp til 3,5 meter.

Skipet er designet med Aker Arctis «Double Action»-prinsipp. Forover kan det gå gjennom kompakt is, mens ekstrem is brytes med akterenden. Polarklasse 1 er høyest, beregnet på de største isbryterne for helårige operasjoner.

Les meir på sidene til Teknisk Ukeblad


Illustrasjon: Stirling Design International


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Actually old news, but Ponant published the name of this one today:

Dear Guest,

The newest addition to the PONANT fleet now has a name… That of a doctor enlisted in the army, a double Olympic medallist, a scientific adventurer and a humanitarian with a passionate interest in multicultural encounters!

And just like the explorer himself, Le Commandant Charcot – the very first hybrid icebreaker in the world – is ready to push the boundaries of Arctic and Antarctic sailing and write new chapters in the history of discovery.

More info on Ponant homepage incl. a Brochure





Illustrasjoner: via Ponant


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Construction of the polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, has officially started with the traditional steel cutting ceremonytaking place on 6 November 2018. Delivery of the new flagship, the most ambitious ever designed both in terms of travel experience and respect for the environment, is scheduled for 2021.

The vessel will bear the name of a great French explorer: Le Commandant Charcot. An explorer by vocation with a true passion for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot is one of the emblematic figures of French polar expeditions. By naming its forthcoming polar exploration vessel after him, PONANT is paying tribute to this “gentleman of the poles”, a man respected by all. The choice of name is even more meaningful given that this new ship will be fitted with the latest technology for minimising environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory to be used by operational and research missions on oceanographic research.

Thus, at Tulcea in Romania, home of the Vard shipyard, the Norwegian subsidiary of Fincantieri, PONANT is pioneering a new era in polar travel. Designed to be a new type of cruise ship, the vessel will incorporate all the latest innovations in environmental protection, making PONANT a world leader in responsible tourism.

Indeed, Le Commandant Charcot will be the first exploration vessel to surpass the ecological standards set out in international regulations. An electric hybrid vessel, it will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas(LNG). Designed for intense polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot will push back the boundaries of imagination, by sailing to Wthe Geographic North Pole.

“I am proud to be involved in the inception of a project that marks the culmination of 30 years of effort. Exploring little-known lands and sharing and transmitting our passion for the sea and for nature have always been our driving forces. Our fervent desire is that our passengers, being in daily contact with scientists and experts, and meeting with the local populations, become ambassadors for the protection of these regions”, says Jean Emmanuel Sauvée CEO and Co-Founder of PONANT



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Keel Laid for Le Commandant Charcot

The keel has been laid in Romania for Ponant's Le Commandant Charcot, an LNG-powered ice-breaking cruise ship set to debut in 2021 for the French luxury line.

The keel was laid at the Vard shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, earlier this month.

This second key stage in the construction of the vessel is on schedule, Ponant said. The launch is planned for 2020, before its delivery in 2021.

The ship’s traditional steel cutting ceremony was held in November 2018.

Designed for intense polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot will be able to reach destinations such as the Geographic North Pole and remote sites of the Antarctic continent including the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter I Island.

Kilde: Cruise Industry News


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New era in Arctic cruises

Popularity of Arctic tourism is on the rise. French cruise ship operator Ponant has commissioned construction of a cutting-edge polar ice-class cruise vessel, which will be able to reach Arctic areas in all seasons. Operating in the environmentally sensitive areas is a matter that has to be taken seriously, though. Wärtsilä is providing the technology to ensure just that.

As a student of Arctic policies, visiting the Arctic North had been on Julia Koskinen’s bucket list for a long time. Now, together with her husband Ariel they were headed to Svalbard, in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, between the North Pole and top of Norway. They had a whole week ahead of them and a list of places to visit, from the world’s most northern settlement Ny Ålesund to the village of Longyearbyen. Although it seemed unlikely, they also hoped of getting a glimpse of a polar bear.

“We were walking at Tryggehamna when we spotted three Minke whales, and twenty minutes later we crashed into a polar bear! After being evacuated back to the boat, we observed the bear for a long time. Later the same day we saw Atlantic puffins, playful seals and thirty Belugas. It was amazing to witness all that,” Koskinen gushes.

As the tourism industry expands more towards exclusive experiences and designed adventures, the Arctic areas are seeing a boom in the number of visitors. For example, the number of tourists in the Russian Arctic areas has doubled in the past five years and the biggest group are Chinese visitors.

The Arctic cruise industry is working hard to keep up with the increase in consumer demand. Now the world’s first luxury ice-breaker vessel is being built and will be powered by Wärtsilä. The vessel will be the latest (12th) addition to the French operator Ponant’s fleet of cruise vessel. The vessel is named Le Commandant Charcot, after 19th Century Polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. All the previous 11 vessels are also equipped with Wärtsilä engines. Ponant and Wärtsilä have a long history together, explains Glenn Mattas, Regional Sales Director, Wärtsilä Marine, in charge of South Europe and Africa.

“Ponant is a very old customer for Wärtsilä. We started working with them already in the 1990s. Back then Ponant was a much smaller company than today. They have been satisfied with the engines and propulsion systems we have delivered, so over the years we have built a good relationship,” Mattas explains.

Ponant has been a pioneer in Arctic cruises. The company has been active in the market already for close to 30 years. Le Commandant Charcot, at 150-metre length, is their biggest so far.

The vessel is designed to take Ponant’s customers to explore the far northeast of Greenland. But operating in the Arctic areas is demanding for any operator. Not only are the weather conditions harsh, but the remoteness of the areas is a safety issue. Previously Arctic cruises have been able to discover the area only during open water season. Now the polar cruises will be organised year-round.

High ice-class to match conditions
First of its kind, Le Commandant Charcot will have PC2 Polar Class certification and will be able to move through ice floe that is close to 2,5 metres thick and sail safely through sea ice compression ridges of more than 10 metres. Committed to operating in an environmentally sustainable way in the world’s most sensitive areas, Ponant is trusting Wärtsilä to supply LNG driven dual-fuel engines (four 14-cylinder and two 10-cylinder Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines) giving a total installed output of 42 MW to power the vessel.

“When Ponant started to plan this icebreaker project, they were very clear that they wanted main machinery with lowest possible emissions and highest possible efficiency, which lead them to choose the Wärtsilä 31DF,” says Mattas.

The vessel will be equipped with a Fuel Gas Supply System, developed and supplied by Wärtsilä.

Wärtsilä has developed several digital tools that are also implemented in Le Commandant Charcot. For instance, the vessel will be equipped with Wärtsilä Nacos Platinum navigation equipment, which has control systems for displaying navigation, positioning, and automation among other qualities. Le Commandant Charcot will also be equipped with Wärtsilä Eniram proactive energy management system.

“The Eniram energy management system allows the fleet operator to minimise the total energy consumption of the ship and keep track of the vessel and its performance all the time,” explains Mattas.

Eniram’s system is integrated in the fleet monitoring system that Ponant has established in their head office in Marseille. This system helps Ponant to keep good track of all their vessels at all times.

“The Wärtsilä 31DF engines and the Fuel Gas handling system together with the Nacos Platinum and the Eniram system form a digitalised integrated solution in line with the Wärtsilä Smart Marine strategy,” says Mattas.

“This integrated solution, from one supplier is very much appreciated by Ponant as it greatly reduces the risks for them during the building phase. Also during operations, it offers them a single point of contact for all service support and trouble-shooting,” he adds.

Ponant’s icebreaker Arctic cruise ship Le Commandant Charcot is being constructed at Vard Søviknes Shipyard on the West Coast of Norway. The hull will be built at Vard’s Tulcea shipyard in Romania, by the Black Sea. Wärtsilä is scheduled to supply the equipment for the project in 2019 and 2020 and the vessel will be delivered in 2021.

Kilde: Wärtsilä


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Skroget til "Le Commandant Charcot" på vei fra Romania til Vard Søviknes
Le Commandant Charcot.jpg
Foto: Andrea Zamburlini