Vard lays keel for Ponant’s electric hybrid polar expedition ship

Vard lays keel for Ponant’s electric hybrid polar expedition ship
Le Commandant Charcot is Ponant's first electric hybrid polar expedition ship (Image: Ponant/Stirling Design International)

Vard is on track to deliver Le Commandant Charcot to French operator Ponant by 2021 after laying the vessel’s keel at its yard in Tuclea, Romania.

Le Commandant Charcot will be Ponant’s first electric hybrid polar expedition vessel and has been named in honour of French medical doctor and polar scientist Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot. The 135-room vessel has been jointly designed by Stirling Design International and icebreaker specialists Aker Arctic to meet Cleanship environmental standards and PC2 Polar Class requirements. This will enable her to sail in destinations such as the Geographic North Pole and previously inaccessible areas of Antarctica, such as the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter Island.

Ponant’s newbuild will be equipped with dual-fuel engines from Wärtsilä, which will primarily run on LNG fuel, as well as electric batteries that will enable her to operate without engines for two to three hours. The vessel will also have ABB Azipod units for propulsion, while systems for energy optimisation, energy recovery and advanced wastewater treatment will further reduce her environmental impact.

Another onboard highlight will be a scientific laboratory, which will be used to carry out operational and oceanographic research.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Tuesday, January 8, 2019