French cruise line Ponant's new luxury electric-hybrid icebreaker scheduled for 2021 launch

The vessel will use liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion and is designed by Ponant, Aker Arctic and Stirling Design International (SDI) and is slated for launch in 2021.

In close partnership with Aker Arctic, SDI is designing the new icebreaker vessel. The Ponant Icebreaker will provide a luxury cruising experience with rugged, go-anywhere capabilities and will have 135 staterooms.

The design includes a helipad, an upper glassed arch located on upper deck offering stunning panoramic views, storage for Zodiacs and capacious passenger spaces and will be built by Fincantieri shipyard’s Norwegian subsidiary Vard.

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The vessel is specially designed to take passengers to polar destinations such as the true geographic North Pole, the Weddell Sea and the Ross Sea. It is the first electric hybrid icebreaker with dual fuel propulsion, featuring high-capacity batteries and LNG storage on board.

Icebreaker Ponant hybrid

It will also house two helicopters in hangars. The vessel will be approximately 150m long and should be able to accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to 180 crew members.

The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania. Delivery is scheduled from Vard Søviknes in Norway in 2021.

Ponant already has four expedition ships on order, with two being delivered in 2018 and two in 2019.