Ponant signs up polar cruise ship for ABB MarineCare

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Le Commandant Charcot recently became the first cruise ship of its type to reach the geographic North Pole

French cruise company Ponant has signed up its LNG-fueled hybrid-electric exploration cruise ship Le Commandant Charcot for ABB’s MarineCare services.

Le Commandant Charcot recently became the first cruise ship of its type to reach the geographic North Pole. The comprehensive 10-year service agreement with ABB provides round-the-clock remote support, diagnostics and condition monitoring support for the ship, as well as preventive and planned maintenance and spare parts. The service scope also includes warranty for the ship’s energy storage system, supplied and integrated by ABB.


“At Ponant, we take great pride in allowing our guests to experience the most awe-inspiring destinations on Earth, secure in the knowledge that their safety and the health of the environment are our utmost priorities,” said Mathieu Petiteau, newbuilding director at Ponant. “ABB’s support ensures optimized performance of our advanced ABB technology on a continuous basis, bringing us complete peace of mind and allowing us to focus on delivering a unique travel experience.”

ABB says the key benefits of ABB MarineCare include increased safety, reduced operational, maintenance and administration costs and maximized vessel uptime. Regular maintenance and continuous awareness of asset health status enable possible issues to be resolved remotely, preventing failure escalation and reducing the need for unplanned activities.

Eight ABB Ability Collaborative Operations Centers around the world provide 24/7 support ensuring dedicated expertise and fast response times.

“Ponant’s high standards in safety and sustainability are crucial when operating in isolated environments such as the Arctic and Antarctica,” said Jyri Jusslin, Head of Service, ABB Marine & Ports. “Our MarineCare agreement ensures that Le Commandant Charcot has full access to our remote services wherever in the world she is sailing, and offer the ship’s crew continuous training to help them respond to any unforeseen issues.”

Named after the French polar scientist Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the 150 meter long, 245-passenger, Le Commandant Charcot was built at the Vard Tulcea shipyard in Romania, and delivered from Vard Søviknes in Norway last year after final outfitting and delivery.

The Polar Class PC2 expedition vessel features the largest energy storage system ever installed on a cruise ship, as well as two ABB Azipod propulsion units with a combined power of 34 megawatts. With the electric drive motor situated in a submerged pod outside the ship hull, the Azipod® system can rotate 360 degrees, significantly increasing maneuverability and operating efficiency of a vessel and cutting fuel consumption by up to 20 percent compared to conventional shaftline systems

Prior to delivery, during lock down and travel restrictions, crewmembers received training on the Azipod equipment via an ABB Marine Academy training solution as as they sat out quarantining hours in a Finnish hotel between two mandatory COVID-19 tests.

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