Expedition cruising gets greener with latest ships

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T0830PONANTLCSHIP_C_HR [Credit: Ponant]
Ponant's Le Commandant Charcot is the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered by liquefied natural gas. Photo Credit: Ponant

The expedition cruise market continues to launch cleaner ships, with Ponant's Le Commandant Charcot this month becoming the first hybrid electric polar exploration vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Hurtigruten Expeditions making a third ship battery powered. 

Hurtigruten this week introduced the expedition cruise line's third battery-hybrid powered ship, the Otto Sverdrup, which departed Hamburg, Germany, on its maiden voyage Aug. 24, on year-round expedition cruises of the Norwegian coast. The ship is Hurtigruten's former Finnmarken and was renovated and refurbished this year to join the Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen as hybrid powered ships. 

TO830HURTIGRUTENOTTO_C_HR [Credit: HURTIGRUTEN EXPEDITIONS]
The Otto Sverdrup is Hurtigruten's third battery-hybrid powered ship. Photo Credit: Hurtigruten Expeditions

The sailing also marked Hurtigruten's first departure since last summer. 

Earlier this month, Ponant took delivery of the newbuild Le Commandant Charcot from Vard, a subsidiary of Fincantieri, in Norway. The 123-cabin ship is powered by electric batteries and LNG, resulting in zero emissions when in the hybrid electric mode. 

The polar class ship will sail to the geographic North Pole, Greenland, the Svalbard archipelago, the Bellinghausen Sea and the Larsen Ice Shelf. Onboard features include a laboratory that enables scientific observation, research and analysis of extreme polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctic, for which guests can help gather data. Other activities include kayaking, hovercraft, ice fishing, hiking and lectures led by experts. 

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