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Wednesday, October 13, 2021 

Network solutions provider Marlink is supporting French cruise operator Ponants first polar exploration ship 'Le Commandant Charcot' with data and voice connectivity to create a seamless communication experience for guests, officers and crew.

Le Commandant Charcot became the first vessel of her kind to reach the geographic North Pole in September 2021, during sea trials in preparation for her maiden voyage later this year.

Marlink provided a hybrid network solution, believed to be the industry's first, combining Sealink dual C- and Ku-band VSAT connectivity, GEO and LEO L-band connectivity and a high-data volume LEO store & forward capability. The network employs technologies including software defined routeing (SD-WAN) for an optimised guest experience. Marlink's LTE/GSM service completes the hybrid network solution and enables Ponant to provide aggregated delivery of hundreds of gigabytes per month, offering a record amount of data to connectivity-hungry customers.

Constructed at Vard’s Tulcea shipyard in Romania, with outfitting completed at the Vard shipyard in Søviknes, Norway, Le Commandant Charcot is the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG.

Ponant is committed to promoting sustainable and responsible tourism. With only 123 staterooms, Le Commandant Charcot is said to be a major innovation that strengthens the company’s commitment to sustainable tourism.

Mathieu Petiteau, Director of Newbuilds, R&D, Ponant, said: “Le Commandant Charcot will enable guests to follow in the footsteps of French polar scientist Jean-Baptiste Charcot, a challenge that demands the best in vessel design and operations,. The  challenge we gave Marlink was simple: to create a communications solution without compromise worthy of polar explorers and tailored for  those who follow their footsteps and they have delivered.”

Tore Morten Olsen, President, Maritime, Marlink, said: “Le Commandant Charcot will feature a new level of connectivity, enhancing the experience for guests and keeping them connected when at extreme latitudes. By combining GEO and LEO constellations with our managed services terrestrial connectivity and global network know-how, Marlink is able to provide the best possible services and keep Ponant’s promises to its customers.”

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