Fincantieri to build two new luxury expedition cruise ships for PONANT; to be operated by PAUL GAUGUIN brand

Fincantieri to build two new luxury expedition cruise ships for PONANT

Fincantieri to build two new luxury expedition cruise ships for PONANT

(PRESS RELEASE) TRIESTE, 20-Nov-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Fincantieri announced it has been selected to build and design 2 new-generation luxury expedition cruise vessels for the French cruise company PONANT.  For the purpose the company has just signed MoA (memorandum of agreement) with the cruise group for about EUR 300 million. PONANT is a subsidiary of Artemis Group which is the holding company of the Pinault family. As part of the agreement is an option for one further sistership. The contract finalization is subject to the fulfillment of technical and financial conditions.

The cruise company PONANT has already 4 ships (“Le Boréal“, “L’Austral“, “Le Soléal“, and “Le Lyrial“) built by Fincantieri in Ancona which have been delivered in 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 respectively. Also, Fincantieri’s Norwegian subsidiary VARD, specialised in the design and shipbuilding of expedition cruise vessels, has built in 2018 and 2019 four units of the “PONANT EXPLORERS” class and the last two of the series are expected to be delivered in 2020. Furthermore, PONANT will take delivery in 2021 of the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered with LNG called “Le Commandant Charcot“, also built by VARD.

The two new expedition cruise vessels, which are expected to be delivered in 2022, represent an evolution of the “PONANT EXPLORERS” class vessels. The “PAUL GAUGUIN CRUISES” brand will be operating the two new units, along with the eponymous ship recently acquired by PONANT,  in the South Pacific areas. With the new two vessels the total number under this brand will now be three. VARD group’s production network will be responsible for the building of  the ships, which will be about 11.000 gross tons with the capacity to accommodate some 230 passengers on board.

The vessels will feature the most extensive battery package application in the market, enabling smokeless operation at anchor, in ports and in environmentally sensitive areas. Additionally, the cruise ships will be equipped with cutting-edge technology for population protection.

Other environmentally friendly projects are also possible as the current MoA paves the way to further cooperation between PONANT, Fincantieri and Vard.

Commenting on the agreement, Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of PONANT, said:

“We are delighted to continue our historic collaboration with Fincantieri. 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”.

Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, on the MoA:

“We cannot but welcome with great pleasure the acknowledgement of the partnership with a ship owner like PONANT for this new-generation project, strongly inspired by environmental protection, which takes us to 13 units for them. The strengthening of the commercial relations with our clients, as well as the consolidation of the production network of the Group and of the synergies we develop within it, are the best possible feedbacks highlighting the success of our strategies”.

Media contacts:


Antonio Autorino
Tel. +39 040 3192473
Mob. +39 335 7859027


Alexandra Olivar
Tel. +33 4 88 65 42

SOURCE: Fincantieri



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