PONANT’s Newbuild Ship Leads The Way To Zero Carbon Navigation

PONANT is beginning the development of a uniquely designed ocean vessel, driving its transition toward carbon neutrality. Through the work of its R&D team, the company has created a concept that combines six technologies, aiming to revolutionize future navigation. Set for completion in 2030, this ship aims to be a catalyst for new energy solutions for PONANT and the broader industry. While partnering with naval architecture Stirling Design International, PONANT actively engages in discussions to select the shipyard responsible for constructing the vessel.

“By 2030, our future ship aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions when sailing, maneuvering, in port, or at anchor,” explains Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT. “Her carbon footprint will be reduced throughout her life cycle. Renewable energy supplied by the wind and sun will be combined with low-carbon non-fossil energy associated with fuel cells.”

Holding 100 staterooms and coming in at 181 meters in length, PONANT’s newest addition to its fleet will help carry the company toward net-zero emissions. The ship will comply with new European and international regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The ship’s design holds sustainability at its forefront, with materials and equipment being selected based on their durability and potential for future recycling.

PONANT’s net-zero emissions initiative, Swap2Zero, aims for zero CO2 eq (all CO2-related emissions) emissions in all cruise ship operations. Swap2Zero attempts to speed up the decarbonization of the cruise ship industry by:

  • Utilizing a set of sails and a uniquely-designed hull that provide around half of the ship’s propulsion capacity.
  • Over 1,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels, with the sails being equipped with solar-power capabilities as well.
  • A liquid hydrogen-powered low-temperature fuel cell for propulsion, with the byproducts of water and heat getting recycled.
  • Also using a high-temperature fuel cell to power the ship’s hotel functions, with the byproduct of heat being used to produce hot water.
  • A carbon capture technology, also powered by the high-temperature fuel cell.
  • A generator-free energy management and distribution system.

The new ship will also uphold PONANT’s commitment to scientists. As part of the PONANT SCIENCE program, she will host several scientists involved in combatting global warming.

“PONANT is a company of sailors focused on exploration and innovation, and it is this pioneering spirit that is inspiring the whole Swap2Zero programme,” says Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT. “This is much more than a new ship. We want to offer a new mode of navigation and actively contribute to the decarbonization of the maritime sector. Our in-house R&D team has brought together the best specialists in shipbuilding and renewable energy to imagine and develop an energy model that aims at zero emissions. With Swap2Zero, we are building a French technological showcase to convince other stakeholders to commit to carbon-neutral navigation.”


What do you think about PONANT’s Swap2Zero initiative? Let us know in the comments below!

By Ethan Leckie