Ponant’s Le Soleal Delivered by Fincantieri

Fincantieri has delivered the third of three luxury cruise ships to the French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant. Le Soleal was delivered at the Ancona shipyard today.

Described as being similar to a mega-yacht in size and appearance, Le Soleal is a unique niche product and will be the cruise line's new flagship. She is designed to offer passengers different experiences, reaching destinations around the globe inaccessible to larger vessels.

The new ship, which will fly the French flag, is approximately 11,000 tons, 142 meters long and 18 meters wide. It can accommodate more than 260 passengers in 132 cabins and suites, all with a sea view, 94% of which have a private balcony.

Like with its twin sisters, Le Boréal and L'Austral, the Bureau Veritas classification society has assigned Le Soléal not only an ice class, for navigation in polar and sub-polar regions, but also Clean Ship and Comfort Class certifications, by virtue of the ship's latest-generation technology for reducing environmental impact, noise and vibration.

Le Soléal differs from the two previous ships with the design of her public rooms, all developed for the first time entirely by Fincantieri with products and craftsmen selected by a special in-house team, and equipped, like all the cabins, with a latest-generation energy-saving lighting system using only LEDs made in Italy. Fincantieri's newest build also has a different coloured hull and higher installed power to allow more flexibility in cruise planning.

 Compagnie du Ponant, based in Marseille, has a fleet of three cruise ships targeting the luxury market, which has now been expanded with the addition of Le Soléal. Founded in 1988, today the company is a member of the UK-based Bridgepoint Group.

Fincantieri has built 65 cruise ships since 1990, of which 42 since 2002. Another nine ships are being built or due to be built in the Group's yards.