Le Commandant Charcot delivered

03 August 2021

We are pleased to announce the delivery of the first hybrid electric cruise icebreaker with LNG propulsion.

First of its kind
Le Commandant Charcot is a hybrid electric polar exploration ship with ice breaking technology powered by Liquefied Natural Gas.

A Polar Class PC2 ship that includes all the latest ‘green’ technologies, such as 100% waste sorted on board and waste treatment. The ship will be fitted with facilities and equipment for research, providing the scientific world with a platform for observation, research and analysis to study water, air, ice, and biodiversity in extreme polar regions.

Le Commandant Charcot will be sailing in the world’s most remote regions: the Geographic North Pole, Northeast Greenland’s National Park, circumnavigation of the Svalbard archipelago, the Bellingshausen Sea, Charcot and Pierre I Islands, Weddell Sea and the Larsen Ice Shelf.

Flag ceremony
A flag exchange ceremony took place Thursday 29 July at the ship’s helideck.

Attilio Dapelo, General Manager Business Unit Cruise in VARD says: “The delivery of this amazing vessel is a true evidence of the high technical competence in our engineering and production departments. The technical result is unique; we are proud of the job we have done together, and we wish to thank everyone involved for the dedication and the commitment showed all along this project.”

Le Commandant Charcot
The unique polar exploration ship is developed by PONANT, Stirling Design International, Aker Arctic and VARD and is built by Vard Tulcea in Romania and Vard Søviknes in Norway. The ship is featured with high quality products and solutions from VARD and Fincantieri’s specialized entities.

Le Commandant Charcot is approximately 30 000 gross tons, 150 meters long, 28 meters wide and has a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. The vessel can accommodate 245 passengers in 123 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 215 persons.


Le Commandant Charcot | Polar Exploration Ship | Overall length: 150 m | Breadth: 28 m. Image by VARD.


From left: General Manager Business Unit Cruise in VARD Attilio Dapelo, Yard Director Vard Søviknes Arnt Inge Gjerde, New Building Director in PONANT Mathieu PETITEAU, Captain Patrick MARCHESSEAU, and Captain Etienne GARCIA. Image by VARD.

VARD - press release