Ponant will boost its fleet by two new Explorer class expedition ships in both 2018 and 2019.

French expedition brand Ponant has drawn inspiration from four intrepid French ocean-going explorers in announcing the names of its forthcoming fleet of new luxury yachts, which will drive the ongoing expansion of the company.

The names of the four new vessels will be Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Kerguelen. They will join Ponant’s existing fleet of five yachts which includes Le Lyrial, Le Soleal, L’Austral, Le Boreal and Le Ponant.

Ponant says the decision to take the new names adheres to its tradition of paying homage to its French flag, under which the four namesake individuals worked and also a target of recognising the company’s expertise in delivering luxury expeditions around the world.

A rendering of the passenger accommodations coming on Ponant's four new expedition ships.
A rendering of the passenger accommodations coming on Ponant’s four new expedition ships.

The four ships will have ice-class 1C certification, meaning each can explore the polar regions. Other regions the ships will sail include Australia’s Kimberley region, the Amazon River in South America, Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica, the Seychelles and more.

Each of the four new vessels will be slightly smaller than the four yachts currently in service for the brand, catering to 184 passengers each (down from 264) and served by a crew contingent of 110. On each ship, 88 staterooms and suites will feature a private balcony, while four suites at the rear of the ship will offer their own bay windows with their own private terrace.

The ships will also offer public facilities including a theatre, a restaurant with its own terrace, a main lounge and infinity pool on the rear deck.

Each vessel will feature a fold-down marina with partially submerged deck for guests to enjoy water sports.
Each vessel will feature a fold-down marina with partially submerged deck for guests to enjoy water sports.

State of the art and environmentally sustainable technology will also be a major focus of the ships’ design, Ponant says, with a “dynamic positioning system” to replace the traditional process of dropping anchor during an offshore port call, which will protect the sea bed. Each ship will also feature a silent fuel propulsion system and low-energy consumption lighting.

Behind the infinity pool on the rear deck, a fold-down submersible water sports marina where guests can engage in activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, snorkelling, waterskiing and more. Currently under construction, the first two ships will join the fleet in mid-2018 with the second pair added a year later in 2019.

For more renderings of what the onboard offering of Ponant’s four new ships will entail, check out this new gallery.

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