Global shipbuilder VARD has announced it has secured contracts for the design and construction of two additional luxury expedition cruise ships for the French Cruise company PONANT.
The order follows construction contracts signed in 2016 between the two parties calling for a series of four expedition-style cruise ships. The two new vessels will be identical to the four previously ordered.
The ice-class expedition vessels will be approximately 10,000 gross tons and will measure 131m long and 18m wide. Each will accommodate 180 passengers in 92 staterooms and suites.
The two hulls announced today will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania with delivery scheduled from Vard Søviknes in Norway in the first half of 2020.
The first vessel in the six-vessel series will be delivered in 2Q 2018, followed by the delivery of the next three vessels in 2018 and 2019.
Last December, PONANT also placed an order at VARD for the world’s first icebreaking luxury cruise ship that will literally take passengers to the North Pole, as well as other Arctic destinations. The icebreaking cruise ship will feature electric hybrid propulsion that will run on cleaner-burning LNG fuel. Delivery is scheduled for 2021.
PONANT’s fleet currently consists of five vessels, but with these new orders it is anticipated to grow to 12 vessels by 2021. PONANT is the only French-flag cruise line.