Named after the legendary French polar explorer and scientist, Jean-Baptiste Charcot, French line has launched the world’s first PC2 luxury hybrid-electric polar exploration ship, Le Commandant-Charcot in Le Havre, France last week.

The revolutionary adventure ship will take 270 guests to some of the world’s most isolated and previously inaccessible polar destinations on the planet from the Arctic to the Antarctica including the geographic North Pole, the Weddell Sea, the Ross Sea and Pierre Island.

With 135 staterooms, Le Commandant-Charcot will feature a laboratory onboard for polar scientific missions. She is the seventh ship launched by Ponant in three years and the 13th in its fleet.

At the inauguration ceremony attended by Anne Manipoud-Charcot, the explorer’s great grand daughter, Ponant CEO Herve Gastinel said: “The boldness of this project is not just about taking passengers to the far corners of the Arctic and Antarctica, it is about doing it safely and following the same values of seamanship that move us. Our principles are first about respect for nature – knowing how much we owe the oceans and the fragile eco-systems we travel. Polar regions in particular deserve the highest respect and attention. We are committed to this mission every day.”

The eco-friendly, clean exploration ship will offer 16-day itineraries to the geographic North Pole from Spitsbergen to Spitsbergen in 2022 to discover polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, walruses, seals and whales.

Le Commandant-Charcot will also offer 16-days expeditions to Charcot and Peter Islands from Ushuaia to see humpback whales, Gentoo penguins and Weddell seals.

Highlights of other itineraries include a special 16-day adventure to watch the total eclipse of the sun from the Weddell Sea ice pack.

World renowned French chef Alain Ducasse and the ship’s Captains Etienne Garcia and Patrick Marchesseau also attended the ceremony.

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