The first of Ponant’s six Explorer class ships has been delivered.

Le Lapérouse has left the shipyard in Alesund, Norway, and will arrive in Reykjavik in Iceland on Tuesday (June 19), where it will embark on its maiden voyage.

The ship’s inauguration will take place on July 10.

The six Ponant Explorers will feature a world first: the “Blue Eye”, a multi-sensory underwater lounge.

It will allow passengers to experience the underwater world via two portholes looking out on to the sea bed, underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel.

Jean Emmanuel Sauvee, chief and co-founder of Ponant, said: “Le Lapérouse is a wonderful achievement for the company and the result of intensive teamwork with Vard and Fincantieri.

“From remarkable nautical performances to technical excellence and offering an extraordinary level of comfort, everything is in place for the Ponant series to be a huge success.”

The 92-cabin vessel will then head for the Mediterranean, followed by the Indian Ocean, Asia and the Oceania region.

The development is part of a plan by Ponant to be operating 12 ships by 2021.