Ponant is launching its new underwater lounge, the Blue Eye, on board the four new Ponant Explorer ships launching summer 2018 and 2019. The multi-sensory lounge, located beneath the water line on the Ponant Explorer ships, will feature two glass portholes shaped like the eye of a whale looking out to the sea. Digital screens will hang from the walls projecting images filmed live by three underwater cameras. The lounge will also include a sound system, developed by Michel Redolfi, a contemporary music composer and sound design expert. The underwater symphony will be transmitted into the lounge through hydrophones, a microphone designed to capture underwater sounds. Capping off the immersive experience are body listening sofas that discreetly vibrate in unison with the streaming aquatic acoustics.
In other news, in addition to launching two new 92-room Explorer ships summer 2018—Le Laperouse and Le Champlain—and in summer 2019—Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville—Ponant’s fleet, which features the Bureau Veritas “clean ship” label, will offer 25 sailings to Antarctica in 2018 and 2019 traveling to remote regions including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Itineraries take guests across the Antarctica Circle, the northernmost latitude in the Southern Hemisphere, and around the mountainous Elephant Island. Expedition guides lead excursions including hikes along Neko Harbour, one of the few places where visitors can step foot on the continent, trek through the polar desert, and go on wildlife spotting outings to see humpback whales, leopard seals, and seabirds. For more information, visit ponant.com.