VARD wins orders for two ice-class luxury adventure cruises
The French cruise company Ponant recently signed a contract for the design and construction of two ice-class luxury cruise ships with the Norwegian shipyard VARD Holdings Limited. The price has not been announced.
VARD stated that the hull part of the new ship will be built by VARD Tulcea shipyard in Romania and the outfitting work will be carried out by VARD Soviknes shipyard in Norway. The final delivery time will be in the first quarter and second quarter of 2020 respectively.
The two new ships will adopt the same design as the 4 cruise ships that Ponant ordered in 2016. The series of luxury expedition cruises each about 10,000 gross tons, 131 meters long, 18 meters wide, 92 cabins on board can accommodate 180 tourists and 110 crew members, each equipped with a "Blue Eye" multi-sensor underwater lounge.
The first of the six luxury cruise ships will be delivered in the second quarter of this year, and the second, third and fourth ships will be delivered from the fall of 2018 to the summer of 2019.
In addition, VARD will be delivered in 2021 as a polar expedition ice-breaking cruise ship built by Pontant, the world’s first ice-breaking cruise liner powered by LNG power. VARD and Ponant signed a related design and construction contract at the end of last year, with a total value of NOK 2.7 billion (approximately USD 323 million).
Currently, Ponant’s fleet operates five cruise ships. By 2021, Ponant’s fleet will expand to include 12 luxury cruise ships.