According to a 2019 Bloomberg report, “cruise ships are big business for port cities around the world. But starting next year, Cannes, one of the world’s most famous ports-of-call, will no longer welcome them unless they comply with strict pollution controls.
Passengers who choose to sail on dirty vessels will have to disembark elsewhere. Travellers are voicing concerns about the environmental effects of their adventures. In Europe, “flight shaming” has dented airlines’ earnings as travellers look for low-carbon alternatives. The cruise industry, far less necessary to the global economy than air travel, is vulnerable to a similar change in consumer sentiment — and may not be prepared for it.”
Enter Ponant, a cruise company with an environmental conscience.
PONANT was founded in 1988 by young officers of the French Merchant Navy. It has been a pioneer in innovative itineraries and reaching ports not permitted by other lines due to the ships’ moderate size, design and technology. PONANT is also largely considered the leader in polar expeditions having sailed to the region more than 350 times.
Looking ahead to 2021, PONANT will launch the new Le Commandant Charcot ship in May 2021. It will be first luxury electric hybrid ship to reach the North Pole and will travel to some places in Antarctica where fewer people have been than the moon. The vessel will operate off a mix of battery (no emissions) and liquified natural gas. Every part of the design was taken into account when building this ship. Even the paint used on the hull has been specifically designed to reduce friction and use less energy for propulsion.
A team of 16 specialists will be aboard each expedition, including marine biologists, ornithologists, glaciologists, geologists and experts in the history of polar expeditions. They share their expertise, knowledge and above all their passion for the polar world so that each guest becomes an ambassador for the remote regions. In addition to hikes and Zodiac excursions already offered by PONANT, adventure seekers can also enjoy outings in hovercrafts, kayaks and even join polar dives.
Designed with an environmental conscience, offering a balcony in every cabin along with high-end details – including Hermès toiletries – nothing has been overlooked in the planning of this new cruise ship. Passengers may participate daily and be part of the research lab.