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Vard to build hybrid powered icebreaker expedition vessel to Ponant

Vard, the Norwegian shipbuilder that is controlled by Fincantieri, will build an icebreaker expedition cruise ship that will employ the Double Acting Ship technology of Aker Arctic in finland, the cruise line said in a statement.

The technology means that the ship will sail stern first in extreme ice conditions, whereby its ABB Azipod propulsors will help it to break the ice. The 140 metre ship will be powered by hybrid electric power plant that uses LNG and packs of batteries, which means that it will incur zero emissions in electric mode and a sharp reduction of pollutants to the air when using LNG compared to oil fuel. The ship’s LNG tanks will have a capacity of 4,500 cubic metres and the ship will be built to the Polar Ice class PC2.

The ship will have a beam of 28 metres and a draught of 10 metres, which is far more than ships of this size usually have and which compares with the figure of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 that is much larger.

There will be 138 cabins and suites in all and passenger amenities will include two panoramic restaurants, a grill restaurant, spa & wellness area, 16 Zodiacs for use on excursions plus two helicopters.

The ship’s technical design is by Aker Arctic in Finland, while the exterior design is by Stirling Design International in France. The as yet unnamed ship will fly the French flag and it is due to enter service in 2021, Ponant said.