In the second key stage of its construction, the keel of Le Commandant Charcot was laid at the Vard shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, on December 14, 2018. Le Commandant Charcot is propelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is part of French cruise firm Ponants drive to become a leader in sustainable tourism. It is being built by Fincantieri subsidiary Vard and is on track for launch in 2020, followed by delivery in 2021. Designed for polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot will be the first exploration vessel to surpass the ecological standards set out in international regulations, with its use of LNG designed to reduce SOx, NOx, CO2 and particle emissions. The ship will have zero emissions when in electric-hybrid mode, and its electric output will be optimized and its consumption reduced through the use of latest-generation electric batteries. Le Commandant Charcot will be able to reach destinations such as the Geographic North Pole and remote sites of the Antarctic continent including the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter I Island.