Le Commandant Charcot: Commanding the Polar Seas

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While the debut of any new ship is always exciting, PONANT’s ground-breaking Le Commandant Charcot is a significant industry first. This is a one-of-a-kind vessel that is essentially rewriting the polar sailing standards.

Le Commandant Charcot is a state-of-the-art hybrid-electric ship capable of transporting up to 270 people to Antarctica and the Arctic Poles. Le Commandant Charcot’s cutting-edge technology, which includes a hybrid electric engine fueled by liquefied natural gas, distinguishes her as a pioneer in environmentally friendly polar expedition vessels. She provides the same level of luxury onboard and a contemporary environment as the other ships in her fleet, as well as unique polar activities such as ice fishing and hovercraft exploration. This ship, named after explorer and sailor Doctor Jean-Baptiste Charcot, delivers luxury beyond the traditional sense.

©StudioPONANT+Olivier+Blaud

Interior and Specifications

Le Commandant Charcot is designed to facilitate a modern, elegant, and luxurious environment. With flowing lines and light-colored decor, the stone, wood, and leather merge together in a unique and inviting setting. The lobby features a concierge desk that is always attended, as well as an activities desk, a picture area, and a shop selling various goods. The Main lounge welcomes guests with pleasant furnishings, a separate cigar lounge, a tea room, and a bar with live music on a regular basis. A unique indoor pool and heated Blue Lagoon Baths are located on the Pool Deck. The Panoramic Lounge, which features a library, a bar, and an observation lounge, enables guests to unwind with a book from the library. 

There is another feature that distinguishes this extraordinary vessel. PONANT made the decision to make Le Commandant Charcot available to the research world from the outset of this project in order to contribute to worldwide efforts for the research and preservation of the poles and seas. As a result, large sections of the ship have been devoted to research laboratories, the hull contains rooms for measuring devices, and a lunar pool within the ship facilitates the collection of particular materials. Each piece of equipment has been specifically built to serve the needs of legitimate academic study.

©StudioPONANT-Olivier+Blaud

Eco-Friendly Alternatives

As an electric hybrid ship with a unique form of propulsion and cutting-edge innovations, Le Commandant Charcot maximizes energy efficiency. When operating in hybrid electric mode,  Le Commandant Charcot emits no pollutants and considerably decreases noise.  Bureau Veritas, one of the world’s top monitors of environmentally responsible travel, has certified this LNG ship as a “Clean Ship.” Her usage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) contributes significantly to the reduction of particulate emissions. This ship can operate autonomously for two months when powered by LNG.

PONANT is committed to preserving the locations it visits and continues to set the standard for eco-friendly onboard solutions. The Commandant Charcot’s wastewater treatment system is upgraded, and the ship’s energy consumption is optimized. Beginning with the switch from halogen to LED illumination, the executives of PONANT also utilized energy collected from the ship’s exhaust emissions to heat the outdoor seating and firepit.

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Abbie M

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