CruiseWind and water propulsion are key to reducing carbon footprint.

Ponant plans zero-impact expedition ship

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Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant’s hybrid electric expedition ship.
Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant’s hybrid electric expedition ship. Photo Credit: Ponant/Nicolas Dubreuil

French expedition cruise line Ponant is designing a new cruise vessel that, it says, “will have no impact on the environment while sailing”.

The aim is to deliver a ship – Ponant’s 14th - that can combine several non-fossil fuel energy sources, including wind propulsion, “by integrating technological bricks”.

The scope of work is predicted to be ready by end of 2022, with a goal to have the ship sailing by 2025, the line said.

After the 2021 launch of ‘new generation ship’ Le Commandant Charcot, Ponant said it is striving to minimise its ships’ carbon footprint and is exploring energy efficiency and optimisation, structural modifications to ships and the protection of ecosystems.

New generation biofuels are being assessed, like green hydrogen, as well as the possibilities for wind and water propulsion.

The project is in line with Ponant’s environmental commitments, one of which is an aim to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

Ponant new building R&D director Mathieu Petiteau said, “For several months now we’ve been working on a new whole lifecycle concept ship to reduce her ecological footprint.

“We’re assessing all the potential impacts: discharges into the atmosphere and water, microplastics, noise levels, and social and human impacts.

“A total new generation ship needs to be designed and we intend to deliver it. As with Le Commandant Charcot, she will also be available to scientists.”

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