The two new vessels will join cruise ship Paul Gaugin in the South Pacific (Image: Paul Gaugin Cruises)
Shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed a memorandum of agreement to design and construct two luxury expedition cruise vessels for France-based cruise operator Ponant, with an option for a possible third sister ship. The finalisation of the contract, worth around €300 million (US$333 million), is subject to technical and financial conditions.
The new ships will be constructed by Fincantieri’s Norwegian subsidiary Vard and will be delivered in 2022. They will operate in the South Pacific under the recently acquired Paul Gaugin Cruises brand, joining eponymous cruise ship Paul Gaugin and bringing the total number of vessels to three.
"We are delighted to continue our historic collaboration with Fincantieri,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant. “This agreement for two additional ships allows us to develop the Paul Gaugin brand we acquired a few weeks ago and consolidates our position as the world leader of luxury expedition cruise.”
At 11,000gt, the vessels will have capacity for 230 passengers each. They will also be equipped with a battery package application, allowing them to operate without their engines while at anchor, in port and in environmentally sensitive areas.
“We welcome with great pleasure the acknowledgment of the partnership with a shipowner like Ponant for this next-generation project, strongly inspired by environmental protection,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri.
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