35 years of exploration with nature as a guide

PONANT is celebrating its 35th anniversary by paying tribute to those who have been at the heart of its development and growth since 1988. All share the same ambition to make travel a unique experience of discovery, understanding and meaning, highlighting the expertise and commitment of the women and men engaged on this mission, with nature as a guide.

"Nature is our guide" is not just a campaign, it’s a commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism as being core values that guide everything we do. We believe travel has the power to transform individuals and communities. It is our responsibility to ensure this transformation is positive and lasting both for people and the planet.

Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT

35 years of environmental awareness

From the start, PONANT has never ceased to innovate in an ongoing quest to offer exceptional voyages and promote the better environmental practices. From the beginning, PONANT’s founders had a vision of innovative, more responsible exploration under the French flag. In 1989 they opted for an unprecedented financing mechanism by launching a public offering to build their first ship

  • 1991: the company promoted sail power by inaugurating Le Ponant, a three-masted sailing yacht with 32 cabins.
  • 2004-2010: design of 4 Sisterships yachts with 132 staterooms and cutting-edge technology to minimise the environmental footprint.
  • 2015: order for the PONANT EXPLORER series, six yachts with 92 staterooms and suites specially designed for expeditions. They all have catalytic converters that allow a fourfold reduction in Nox polluting emissions.
  • 2018: the PONANT Foundation was established with a remit to protect the oceans, the polar regions and the cultural exchanges between indigenous peoples.
  • 2019: heavy fuel oil was replaced by Low Sulphur Marine Gas Oil across the fleet to reduce SOx air pollution.
  • 2021: Le Commandant Charcot was launched, the world’s ony luxury icebreaking vessel, a hybrid-electric ship powered by Liquefied Natural Gas.
  • 2022: renovation of the sailing yacht Le Ponant. Drinking water treatment and bottling equipment installed on all ships to eliminate single-use plastics.

Reducing emissions remains a major challenge for the coming years, with a target of having 100% of our vessels being equipped with shore power by 2026.