Ponant cruise debut for Wärtsilä 31 engine

A first cruise reference for Wärtsilä 31 engines. on Ponant's forthcoming LNG-fuelled expedition cruise ship (credit: Ponant) A first cruise reference for Wärtsilä 31 engines. on Ponant's forthcoming LNG-fuelled expedition cruise ship (credit: Ponant)

Ponant has selected the dual-fuel version of Wärtsilä’s newest engine to power its ice-class expedition cruise ship under construction at Vard’s Søviknes yard.

The 150m ship will house four 14-cylinder and two ten-cylinder Wärtsilä 31DF engines, marking the first cruise application for the engine, which has been hailed by Wärtsilä for its record-breaking efficiency (a claim backed by a Guinness World Record for the most efficient four-stroke engine).

“We have ordered the building of a clean ship featuring technologies that go beyond current industry-standard environmental regulations,” said Charles Gravatte, secretary general at French cruise operator Ponant. “This is why we have chosen a propulsion format with Wärtsilä’s highly efficient 31DF engine running on LNG.”

Wärtsilä will also supply its LNGPac fuel gas supply system and Nacos Platinum advanced navigation equipment. The equipment delivery is scheduled for 2020, a year before the vessel is due to be delivered.

The vessel has been designed for high environmental performance during its operations in sensitive Arctic and Antarctic waters and is expected to use LNG as its main fuel.

The order continues a clean sweep for the Finnish technology group among Ponant ships – the existing 11-strong fleet is powered exclusively by Wärtsilä engines.

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