Le Lapérouse was christened by Ponant in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland (Image: Studio Ponant - L Patricot)
Ponant’s new luxury expedition cruise ship Le Lapérouse was christened by Maryvonne Pinault, the wife of French billionaire businessman François Pinault, in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland on 10 July.
The French cruise operator held a Breton-inspired naming ceremony, which was attended by Ponant executives, the line’s key partners, prominent political and cultural figures and international media representatives.
Highlights of the ceremony included performances from the French Navy’s bagpipe and drum band Lann Bihoué Bagad, as well as singer Bleuwenn Mevel who sang an acapella version of the Breton anthem. Meanwhile, guests were able to watch an aquatic ballet performance by French free diving champion Aurore Asso from Blue Eye, a multi-sensorial underwater lounge located below sea level in the ship’s hull. Designed in collaboration with architect Jacques Rougerie, Blue Eye allows passengers to view the underwater world via two portholes and digital screens projecting live images from three underwater cameras. Blue Eye also offers hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as ‘body listening’ sofas, which are said to offer a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.
Le Lapérouse was also greeted by Le Soléal, another Ponant ship, as she was leaving Hafnarfjörður after her christening.
Le Lapérouse is the first of six new 180-guest ships in the Ponant Explorer Series vessels, which are already under construction and will be delivered between 2019 and 2020. Le Champlain is undergoing the final construction phase in Norway and is expected to embark on her inaugural cruise from Honfleur, France on 25 October 2018. Meanwhile, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’ Urville are being built at Vard’s shipyard in Tulcea, Romania and are due for delivery in 2019. The shipyard also cut the steel for Le Bellot and Le Surville this April, putting the vessels on track for their scheduled 2020 delivery.
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