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Le Jacques Cartier, final ship of the PONANT EXPLORER series delivered

"At a time of difficulty in the cruise industry, I am pleased to announce on Bastille Day that PONANT, the world leader in luxury expeditions continues to invest in the future with confidence, pursuing our growth strategy exampled by the launch of Le Bellot in March this year, and now the delivery of Le Jacques Cartier, the latest ship to join our modern fleet" announced Sarina Bratton, PONANT Chairman, Asia Pacific. 

The sixth and final PONANT EXPLORER concludes the collection of latest-generation ships flying the French flag and built in just 24 months.

On 10 July, PONANT took delivery of Le Jacques Cartier. The first of the EXPLORER series, Le Lapérouse, only left the Vard shipyard in June 2018 and barely 24 months later the last vessel in the series is setting sail, a remarkable achievement. 

  • Le Lapérouse - June 2018
  • Le Champlain – September 2018
  • Le Bougainville - April 2019
  • Le Dumont-d’Urville – June 2019 
  • Le Bellot - March 2020
  • Le Jacques Cartier – July 2020

The delivery of Le Jacques Cartier is a success. It marks the completion of the PONANT EXPLORERS series, which has revolutionised the concept of ocean voyages. These six vessels combining cutting-edge technology and respect for the environment are the symbol of a new generation of ships flying the French flag,” declared Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of PONANT.

Combining a lesser capacity with just 92 staterooms and suites, all with a balcony or private terrace, state-of-the-art technology, respect for the environment and sleek design, Le Jacques Cartier is made for luxurious expeditions. As with all the PONANT EXPLORER ships, it is fitted with a world first, the “Blue Eye”. This multi-sensory underwater lounge allows guests to discover and experience the subaquatic universe. Two portholes, shaped like the eyes of a cetacean, look out into the marine world. Its non-intrusive underwater projectors, hydrophones integrated into the keel retransmitting the natural symphony of the ocean depths, and the Body Listening sofas offer a unique opportunity to listen to and experience the surrounding maritime environment. 

With 12 ships in its fleet, PONANT is maintaining its development trajectory and will shortly welcome Le Commandant Charcot, its luxury polar exploration vessel, a hybrid electric ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas scheduled for 2021.

Sail with Confidence

The small size of PONANT’s vessels, the medical infrastructure and teams on board and its protocols ensured that there were no cases of Covid-19 contamination in the PONANT fleet. To prepare for the resumption of its activity, the company is collaborating with the IHU (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire) Méditerranée Infection of Marseilles, one of the world's leading centres in the field of infectious diseases, as well as with the Battalion of Marine Firemen of Marseilles and Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC). 

PONANT’s reinforced health protocol is based on health standards that exceed international regulations. It relies on the provision and maintenance of a “Covid-Safe” area around its ships, a hermetic sanitary bubble, thanks to the rollout of three layers of shields: stringent on-board access conditions, rigorous sanitary protocols throughout the cruise as well as daily checks (guests, equipment, ships). It includes the implementation of a health check for 100% of the people on board (guests and crew members) and filtering and disinfection at boarding in a guest circuit that has been entirely redesigned for before, during and after the cruise. In addition, upon arrival at the airport in Iceland, all passengers must take a PCR serology test (device set up by the authorities) and obtain a negative result to obtain access to the vessel.


To undertake regular tests on board, PONANT has been equipped by the biotech company C4Diagnostics, which is behind the development of a comprehensive and rapid Covid-19 detection solution in confined and difficult-to-access environments. Thanks to a portable system based on PCR-LAMP technology, enabling tests to be carried out in situ and to obtain results in 20 minutes, each PONANT ship has the capacity to independently detect the virus in humans and in the environment. The performance of this technology developed and produced in France is equivalent to the RT-PCR* reference technique. *With validation from CIBU (the Biological Emergency Response Cell at the Institut Pasteur) for the Rapid Detection of Coronavirus pathogens for humans on 02/06/2020.

Moreover, PONANT had already been investing for many years to set up high-level hospitals aboard the ships in its fleet, made up of a state-of-the-art medical infrastructure (radiology, biology and even resuscitation devices, etc.) that goes beyond all current touristic standards. An expert medical team made up of at least one doctor and a nurse, available around the clock, are present in these hospitals.

For more detail contact Mondo on 0800 110 108.

Image: Courtesy of Ponant. 

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