You can have your shuffleboard and water slides.
For our next cruise, we’re gonna experience the ocean through the eyes of a whale.
Not literally, but Ponant, the French masters of luxury polar expeditions, just unveiled four new yachts that offer a unique viewing experience beneath their hulls.
Besides luxe accommodations and limited capacities (they only have 92 cabins and suites each), the four new Ponant Explorers will see the debut of Blue Eye, a multi-sensory underwater lounge that allows guests to get up close to and experience the surrounding marine biosphere.
The lounge is based on a design from architect/oceanographer Jacques Rougerie (who also dreamed up that floating city that looks like a manta ray) and inspired by biomimetics. When entering the Blue Eye, your focus is drawn to two portholes shaped like the eye of a cetacean (whale). Additional digital screens show live marine footage from three underwater cameras.
“Placed at the ship’s strategic points, these cameras enable guests to witness, for example, the spectacle of dolphins playing in the bow waves,” notes Ponant’s site.
The lounges, designed with help from composer Michel Redolfi, are also built for acoustic immersion with the ocean and marine life outside, including body listening sofas that discreetly vibrate.
Expeditions are priced from $6,390, and will debut starting in 2018.