Le Lapérouse Christened In Iceland

PONANT has celebrated the inauguration of Le Lapérouse, in the presence of Mrs. François Pinault, the godmother of the ship.

An inauguration with Celtic undertones

Hafnarfjörður, Iceland. Le Lapérouse was christened by the godmother, Mrs. François Pinault, in the presence of prominent political and cultural figures, international media and key partners.

During a vibrant Breton-inspired ceremony – a nod to the origins of PONANT which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year – the Lann Bihoué Bagad’s bagpipes, Breton oboes and drums powerfully reverberated. Breton singer Bleuwenn Mevel gave an emotional acapella rendition of the Breton anthem while the poignant sound of Konan Mevel’s (from famous Breton band Tri Yann) bagpipe resonated at the prow of the ship as she was sailing off.

Another highlight of the day involved Le Lapérouse being greeted as she was sailing from Hafnarfjörður by Le Soléal, another Ponant ship, also positioned in Icelandic waters.

The Blue Eye: an multi-sensorial underwater lounge, the first in the world

Guests on board discovered the Blue Eye, a multi-sensorial underwater lounge located in the hull below sea level, designed in collaboration with Jacques Rougerie, an architect and member of the prestigious Académie Française.

In this exceptional space, through the two portholes made in the shape of a cetacean eye, the passengers watched French free diving champion, Aurore Asso’s aquatic ballet.

With integrated digital screens projecting the live images captured by three underwater cameras, entirely non-intrusive underwater projectors allowing the observation of the sea world without any risk for the ocean life, the Blue Eye also offers a unique sound experience. Captured by hydrophones, the natural symphony of the oceanic world is piped into the lounge and can be felt through the “Body Listening” sofas that vibrates discreetly by corporal resonance.


Of small capacity (131 metre-long, 92 cabins and suites all with balconies), and combining exceptional comfort, a sleek line and start-of-the-art technology, the new ship is designed to explore the most remote areas of the world with the upmost respect for the environment (Cleanship and Bureau Veritas certifications). With the new PONANT EXPLORERS series, PONANT, leader in luxury expedition cruises, can not only offer an even wider range of destinations in the polar circles, but also in tropical and sub-tropical areas through new expedition programmes.

Since the end of 2015 and the group’s acquisition by Artémis, François Pinault’s family holding company, the group’s development has considerably accelerated. The fleet will be completed by 5 others sisterships from the PONANT EXPLORERS series, on which construction is under way: Le Champlain is set to depart on its maiden cruise in October 2018, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville will be delivered in 2019, and Le Bellot and Le Surville in 2020.


Trying to explore each and every inch of this wonderful planet via cruise ship.

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Posted in Cruise News, Expedition Cruising, Ponant

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