At its’ mid-July meeting in London, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of IMO (International Maritime Organisation) has decided to move forward by advocating in July 2011 the implementation of a new regulation, which will ban the use and carriage of heavy and intermediate fuel oils in Antarctic waters.

However, the two new yachts of Compagnie du Ponant, Le Boréal (launching May 2010) and L’Austral (launching May 2011) are equipped with diesel engines using MDO (Marine Diesel Oil). This new kind of diesel oil is permissible for navigation in Antarctic waters.

Le Boréal and L’Austral - both eligible for the international “Green Ship” label - will carry forward with implementing eco-friendly features such as:

- dynamic positioning, so there is no need to drop anchor, thereby protecting seabed
- optical underwater detection system : quiet and economic
- waste and sewage treatment on board
- low energy bulbs for lighting
- reduced exhaust emissions

Reducing the impact on the environment has always been and will remain a Compagnie du Ponant priority. Indeed, the company selects its ships’ itineraries really thoughtfully, uses eco-friendly hull coatings, respects local people when visiting countries and guarantees its crew and passengers’ awareness regarding this topic.  “At Compagnie du Ponant, onshore teams, crew and passengers are nature lovers: discovering the environment and protecting its beauty are our daily issues”, said Isabelle Vareille, Planning and Operations Director, Environmental Officer IAATO.