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December 9, 2019

QuirkyCruise News: Two New Ships For Paul Gauguin Cruises

Two New Ships For Paul Gauguin Cruises

By Anne Kalosh.

Paul Gauguin Cruises will be adding a pair of new builds with a cutting-edge design. They’ll join the Paul Gauguin ship to sail the South Pacific year-round, starting in 2022.

French cruise line Ponant, which recently acquired the Paul Gauguin brand with the intention of growing it and keeping it as a distinct operation, inked a memorandum of understanding for the two new builds with Fincantieri’s Vard group. It’s possible there will be an option for a third vessel.

Executives toast New Ships For Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin Cruises CEO Diane Moore with Navin Sawhney, Americas CEO for Ponant. * Photo: Anne Kalosh

The new ships for Paul Gauguin will be an evolution of the Explorers series built for Ponant in recent years. They’ll measure 11,000 gross tons with capacity for 230 passengers each.

That makes them smaller than the 332-passenger, 19,170-gross-ton Paul Gauguin.

New Ships For Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin, seen here in Bora Bora, will be joined by two new, and smaller, ships modeled on Ponant’s Explorers series. * Photo: Paul Gauguin Cruises

Smoke-free at Anchor & In Ports

The new builds will be equipped with environmental technology including what Fincantieri called the “most extensive battery package application in the market.”

These large battery packs will produce electricity for the ships’ hotel needs. This will allow smokeless operation at anchor, in ports and in environmentally sensitive areas.

Ponant Co-Founder and CEO Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée said the vessels will cut their engines during stops for nearly 10 hours per day of no exhaust — a first in cruising.

executives toast the two new Paul Gauguin builds

Toasting the new builds — Ponant Co-founder Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, far right, with Paul Gauguin Cruises CEO Diane Moore and Ponant Americas CEO Navin Sawhney. At far left is Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association. * Photo: Anne Kalosh

Ponant’s Strong Fincantieri Ties

Fincantieri has built four Ponant ships — Le Boréal (2010), L’Austral (2011), Le Soléal (2013) and Le Lyrial (2015) — at its Ancona yard. In 2018 and 2019, Norwegian subsidiary Vard turned out four Explorers vessels — Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont D’Urville — and is scheduled to deliver the last two in the series, Le Bellot and Le Jacques-Cartier, during 2020.

Vard is also building Le Commandant Charcot for Ponant. This world-first hybrid electric polar expedition ship, fueled by liquefied natural gas, is due in 2021.

Finalization of the contract for the new ships for Paul Gauguin is subject to the customary technical and financial conditions.

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