French cruise line Ponant has ordered a hybrid-electric polar expedition vessel with liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered propulsion from Norwegian shipbuilder Vard.
The cruise ship is designed to take tourists to little-seen polar destinations, including the geographic North Pole, the Weddell Sea, and Peter I Island.
The Ponant Icebreaker — which was designed cooperatively by Stirling Design International and Aker Arctic — will measure approximately 30,000 gross tonnes, 150 metres long, 28 metres wide, and will feature a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water.
It can also accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 180 persons. In a statement, Ponant indicated that the vessel will use Wärtsilä’s duel-fuel engines, ABB’s Azipod propulsion units, and LNG storage technology created by French supplier GTT.
The project marks the first time LNG has been deployed as a fuel on an icebreaking cruise ship. The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania and delivery is scheduled from Vard Søviknes in Norway in the second quarter of 2021.