French cruise line Ponant has announced the arrival of its newest vessel, Le Lapérouse, the first of the six Explorers-class ships. Ponant successfully took delivery of Le Lapérouse on June 15, with the construction of the other five Explorers-class ships currently under way. Le Lapérouse left the shipyard in Ålesund, Norway, on June 16 and reached Reykjavik, Iceland on June 19 for the start of its first cruise. The inauguration will take place on July 10 in Reykjavik.
The new vessel has a smaller capacity, with 92 staterooms and suites, all with a balcony or private terrace. On board, passengers can also enjoy lounge areas that open onto the outside, a pool deck, several dining options serving French cuisine, and a reception area with boutiques that sell clothing, jewelry, beauty products, postcards and other accessories.
The six Ponant Explorers will also have a unique feature: the “Blue Eye.” This underwater lounge will allow passengers to discover and experience the underwater world with two portholes looking out on to the sea bed, non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural sounds of the deep water. The lounge will also include Body Listening Sofas, letting passengers experience the natural rhythms and sounds of the ocean throughout their entire body.
Established in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers from the French Merchant Navy, Ponant is the only French-owned cruise line, offering luxury expeditions around the world. Today, Ponant offers cruises that combine active itineraries and luxury hotel services, aboard smaller-scale ships.
This article originally appeared on travelagentcentral.com.