Ponant’s newest Explorer ship prepares for maiden cruise

Ponant’s newest Explorer ship prepares for maiden cruise
Le Bouganville is the third of six new Ponant Explorers ships (Image: Philip Plisson)

Ponant’s newest cruise ship, Le Bouganville, is to embark on her maiden cruise from Malaga, Spain on 15 April, just 10 days after being delivered by Norwegian shipbuilder Vard.

Named in honour of French admiral and explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, the vessel is the third of six new ships in the Ponant Explorers series. Sisters Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain were launched in June and October 2018 respectively, while Le Dumont-d’Urville will follow in June 2019, Le Bellot in April 2020, Le Jacques Cartier in July 2020 and Le Commandant Charcot in May 2021.

Like the other Ponant Explorers ships, Le Bouganville has 92 staterooms and suites, all with a balcony or private terrace, and various pubic spaces. The highlight will is 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.

“A dream, firm beliefs, energy and boldness were what created Ponant,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO and co-founder of Ponant. “It is by drawing on those roots and our expertise that Ponant is preparing today to meet the challenges of tomorrow, to surprise and delight our guests. I wanted the ships in the Ponant Explorers series to embody the very best in expedition cruise. Le Bougainville is the incarnation of that.”

Le Bouganville will be christened on 4 June.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, April 11, 2019