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French cruise line Ponant has ordered a luxury icebreaker that will take guests to the North Pole from 2021.
The 270-passenger ship, costing 270million euro (£240million/US$320million), will be built at Fincantieri’s Norwegian subsidiary Vard, which is also constructing four expedition vessels for Ponant to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.
The new 30,000 GRT electric hybrid ship, powered by liquefied natural gas, will carry two helicopters and serve destinations including the geographic North Pole. It will be 150 metres long, 28 metres wide and cruise at 15 knots.
Fincantieri also built Ponant’s existing expedition ships Le Boreal, L’Austral, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial. The cruise line also operates Le Ponant, a three-masted sailing yacht.
In 2018 it will introduce 184-passenger sister ships Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain, followed the next year by Le Bouganville and Le Dumont d’Urville.