The North Pole has long been in the sights of those seeking unique human endeavours. Its inhospitable terrain and distance make it a natural target for the adventurous.
Now Ponant has claimed – even for a fleeting moment – a record of sorts. At 1.42am local time on September 8, a Ponant ship became the worlds’ most northern cruise vessel.
For a brief moment, Le Boreal reached 85 degrees north and came within 550kms of the north pole. She came close to the current record set by Hapag-Lloyds Hanseatic in 2014.
The Hanseatic crew and passengers reached the record setting northernmost point of 85°, 40.7′ north and 135°, 39.6′ east. Just 70kms closer.
Le Boréal is a double certified “Clean Ship” and “Ice Class 1”, and crossed Latitude 85° North on the night of 8 September.
The line is promising more firsts. Le Commandant-Charcot, currently under construction in Norway is on schedule for delivery mid-2021.
It is equipped with Polar Class 2 (PC2) rated hull and twin electric Azipod® ABB Azimuth electric propulsors, five-blade propellers capable of pivoting 360°, meaning she will be capable of exploring all the way to the geographic North Pole at 90° North.
Sarina Bratton, Chairman Asia Pacific for PONANT, explains: “This was a voyage with a purpose: a fact-finding mission, recording sea and ice conditions – including the thickness and coverage of ice – and monitoring outside temperatures in order to provide invaluable real time data in preparation for the introduction of PONANT’s groundbreaking hybrid electric-LNG (liquified natural gas) polar exploration vessel, Le Commandant-Charcot.”
Le Boréal is currently proceeding along the North East Passage without guests, positioning to the Russian Far East and the Kamchatka Peninsula in readiness for Bubble Expeditions.
Win one of four cruises to tropical Queensland!
Cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma Resort on the world’s 3rd largest sand island, Moreton Island. Or departing from Brisbane, sail to stunning Airlie Beach – the gateway to the GBR where you can take day trips to iconic locations like Hamilton Island and Whitehaven Beach.