Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has signed a deal to design and construct two luxury cruise ships for French cruise operator PONANT.
The deal, which is anticipated to be worth around 300 million euros, comes in the form of a Memorandum of Agreement before details of the contract are finalized. which will likely include an option one addition ship.
Fincantieri has already constructed four cruise ships for PONANT delivered between 2010 and 2015. VARD, a Fincantieri company, has also delivered four vessels to PONANT in 2018 and 2019, with two more in the series anticipate in 2020. VARD will also deliver to PONANT a seventh vessel, “Le Commandant Charcot”, in 2021. The vessel will be the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered with LNG.
The two ships announced today are both expected for delivery in 2022. The vessels will be operated in the South Pacific by PONANT’s newly acquired Paul Gaugin Cruises brand, bringing the brand’s fleet to three vessels.
The newbuilds are planned to be about 11,000 gross tons with capacity for about 230 passengers and a battery power storage system that will supply power to the vessel while in port and environmentally sensitive areas.
“We are delighted to continue our historic collaboration with Fincantieri,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of PONANT. “This agreement for two additional ships allows us to develop PAUL GAUGUIN brand acquired a few weeks ago and consolidates our position as the world leader of luxury expedition cruise. For the first time in the world of cruising, these two new vessels will cut their engines and cease all emissions each day during each stop, for nearly ten hours per day. Small-capacity ships at the cutting edge of technology and environmental preservation: this project fully matches our philosophy of sustainable tourism.”