Le Dumont d'Urville will be the fourth in Ponant's six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels. It's named for Jules Sebastien Cesar Dumont d'Urville, a French explorer and naval officer who explored parts of the Pacific, Australia and Antarctica. The Dumont d'Urville scientific station in Antarctica is named after him.
Like Ponant's other Explorer-class ships, the 184-passenger Le Dumont d'Urville will have reinforced hulls for when it's sailing in polar regions and an aft marina for when it's in tropical destinations.
Standout features on Le Dumont d'Urville will be an aft marina and the underwater Blue Eye Lounge.
The marina, located at the back of Deck 3, gives cruisers easy access to the ship's fleet of Zodiacs, as well as for entering the water (conditions permitting) for swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding.
The Blue Eye Lounge, located under the water line, gives passengers the ability to see passing marine life through two giant windows, as well as on digital screens on which live images filmed by three underwater cameras are projected. Specially developed hydrophones, located beneath the ship's keel, let people in the lounge hear underwater sounds from as far away as 5 kilometers. Plus, the underwater sounds resonate as vibrations on special sofas passengers can sit on.
Other public areas include an infinity pool, a 188-seat theater and a main lounge.
There will be two French restaurants onboard Le Dumont d'Urville, with the main restaurant on Deck 4 fitting all cruisers in one sitting. The second -- a small venue -- on Deck 3, will offer a more relaxed atmosphere and will seat 70.
All 92 cabins on Le Dumont d'Urville have balconies, air conditioning, mini-bar and flat-screen TV with video on demand. Bathrooms have showers and French bath products; suites have bathtubs as well.
Standard rooms are 205 square feet; suites range in size from 291 to 484 square feet. All rooms accommodate two passengers, except Privilege Suites that hold four people.
Le Dumont d'Urville sets sail in 2019. Norwegian shipyard Vard is building the ship.