One of the most exciting features of Ponant’s new Le Laperouse, christened in Iceland this week, is Blue Eye, a multi-sensory lounge, located in the hull below the water line.
PONANT, in keeping with its pioneering spirit, is launching a world-first: Le Lapérouse will be the first cruise ship on Earth to be equipped with a multi-sensory underwater space, called Blue Eye. Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Bellot and Le Surville will be the next.
The design of this technical prowess was entrusted to architect Jacques Rougerie, who is deeply passionate about the sea. Rougerie’s mission is to enable PONANT guests to perceive and feel the underwater universe that has never ceased to amaze and inspire him during his career through three innovative concepts.
- BIONIC & BIOMIMETIC – The space’s graphical references evoke cetaceans and jellyfish. This inspiration is evident in the lines of the lounge, the positioning of the body, the furniture and the fittings. All focus is drawn towards the two portholes, shaped like the eye of a cetacean and looking out upon the subaquatic world. The lighting in the lounge is developed through touches, disseminated in the space, allowing the spirit and the gaze to dive into the spectacle unfolding outside.
The mural décor disappears to make way for the integrated digital screens projecting the images filmed live by 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.
- GLOBAL LISTENING – The sound staging has been entrusted to Michel Redolfi, a contemporary music composer and sound design expert. A result of his research into subaquatic music and his own inventions, the sound design of the underwater lounge develops state-of-the-art technology and offers guests an experience in acoustic immersion that is unique in the world. An immersive sound experience can be felt in the Body Listening sofas, which discreetly vibrate in unison while offering unique sensory listening through corporal resonance. This global listening through the entire body, in harmony with the ocean’s natural cycles, will bring guests closer to the marine mammals they might see and hear behind the giant portholes.
- INNOVATIVE UNDERWATER VISION – The non-intrusive underwater projectors developed expressly for the PONANT EXPLORERS enable the observation of the seabed and photo-luminescent organisms from the Blue Eye lounge as well as from the outside decks, balconies and the marina-without any risk to the marine biosphere.
On board each ship, passengers will be able to head beneath the water line to the Blue Eye lounge. There are two large glass portholes designed like the eyes of a whale that let passengers peer out into the depths below, digital screens that project live images filmed by three underwater cameras, marine surround-sound based on sounds in within a three-mile radius of the ship, and sofas that vibrate in unison with the sea.
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