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.
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.
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.
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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