Batteries and gas fuel for icebreaking cruiser

The icebreaking ship will feature LNG-electric propulsion suppoorted by 'high capacity' batteries The icebreaking ship will feature LNG-electric propulsion suppoorted by 'high capacity' batteries

A new polar expedition cruise vessel will feature dual-fuel LNG-electric propulsion with ‘high capacity’ batteries.

The project, by French cruise company Ponant, marks the first time LNG has been deployed as a fuel on an ice-classed cruise ship.

The vessel will be built by Vard and has been designed by Aker Arctic and Sterling Design International. Vard valued the construction contract at NOK2.7 billion (€274 million). The hull will be built at Vard Tulcea in Romania, with delivery scheduled from Vard Søviknes in Norway in the second quarter of 2021.

The Ponant icebreaker will be approximately 30,000 gross tonnes, about 150 meters long, 28 meters wide, and will have a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. The vessel can accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 180 persons.

Roy Reite, CEO and executive director of Vard, said: “VARD has a deep experience in icebreaking technology; over generations we have built several highly advanced vessels developed for operations in polar areas.”

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