Ponant has announced it has signed a letter of intent for the order of four ships from Vard, the Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian Fincantieri group. The line said the new order was the first step in a planned expansion following its purchase by Artemis, the holding company of the Pinault family, last year.
Delivery of the first of the four new ships is expected in 2018. With an exterior by Sterling Design International, the ships will have 92 staterooms with a crew of 110. The Ice Class vessels will also be equipped with environmental preservation technology.
French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel will once again design the interiors, which will sport a look inspired by driftwood, natural materials and colors.
In terms of itineraries, the four new ships will sail Blue Expeditions, which will explore Oceania, as well as Green Expeditions, which will sail to South America, the Orinoco River in Amazonia, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, or the Indian Ocean.
The new ships will join Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, four yachts built by Fincantieri between 2010 and 2015, as part of Ponant's fleet.