The fourth in a series of Ponant Explorers-class ships has been delivered to the French luxury line.

The 184-passenger Le Dumont-d’Urville is the ninth vessel in the company’s fleet and will be followed by three more between April 2020 and May 2021.

The vessel left the port of Sovik in Norway for Bergen, ready to depart on its maiden cruise.

Vard, the Norwegian subsidiary of Italian shipyard Fincantieri, built the vessel.

Dumont-d’Urville’s maiden season starts in August with a Baltic capitals itinerary.

The ship will then head for the French coasts and the Mediterranean including a programme of themed cruises.

Le Dumont-d’Urville features the ‘Blue Eye’ underwater multi-sensory lounge, allows passengers to view the underwater world through two giant windows resembling the eyes of a whale.

Underwater spotlights reveal the views while hydrophones built into the keel capture sounds.

Ponant CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvee said: “Such a delivery rate is a first in the history of the French merchant navy – this is the fourth ship in the Ponant Explorers series delivered in the last 12 months.

“The substantial expansion of our fleet allows us to offer our guests an increasing number of destinations, exceptional voyages and high-quality services.

“Market feedback is indeed excellent with very high levels of bookings.”