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PONANT’s new science-focused exploration vessel starts collecting Arctic Ocean data with FerryBox on

-4H-JENA engineering technicians complete installation during stopover following maiden voyage in Antarctica and prior to first voyage to the North Pole

Jena, Germany – Sea water sensor and measuring system manufacturer -4H-JENA engineering’s FerryBox multi-parameter water measurement system is now being used to evaluate the role of global warming and glacial meltwater on the rising level of oxygen in the oceans aboard French designer of inspiring voyages aboard small exploration ships PONANT’s Le Commandant Charcot, the world’s only luxury icebreaker, a hybrid-electric vessel powered by liquified natural gas.

A unique concept with minimal environmental impact due to her green energy and propulsion systems, Le Commandant Charcot provides a luxurious environment for guests seeking adventure away from the traditional cruise destinations in addition to providing extensive facilities for scientific projects with two research laboratories, one of which is open to the sea.

Installed this Spring by -4H-JENA engineering technicians in Cherbourg, France, measurement parameters for Le Commandant Charcot’s FerryBox include basics such as temperature, salinity and sound velocity, in addition to measurements that determine the concentration of dissolved oxygen and CO2, which provides insight into bio productivity and the concentration distribution of CO2. The latter is especially important to the study of global warming, ocean acidification and the CO2 absorption function of the oceans.

With her inaugural Arctic voyage starting early in June and a sell-out 2022 season ahead, Le Commandant Charcot’s dual exploration voyage and scientific research approach is paying off. While guests get to reach the geographical North Pole and go kayaking on pristine waters, they can also participate through workshops and seminars hosted by the scientists on board conducting important research, which in addition to projects using FerryBox data, includes the study of ocean plastic pollution and analysis of humpback whale behaviour.

“There is relatively little ocean data from the Arctic and Antarctic available, but with FerryBox alongside the laboratory facilities and other scientific sensors and equipment aboard Le Commandant Charcot, we plan to change that,” said PONANT Science Program Coordinator, Mr. Vladislav Sidorenkov-Duprez. “Le Commandant Charcot’s itinerary takes FerryBox further North than the current highest FerryBox installation in Svalbard, allowing us to extend the geographical scope for autonomous water measurements even further using a solution that we can rely on to deliver accurate readings in any conditions.”


A luxury ship pictured in the Arctic with snow covered cliffs in the background
Le Commandant Charcot. ©PONANT. Photographer: Mike Louagie

Media enquiries

-4H-JENA engineering GmbH

Dr Maik Grunwald, Head of R&D

Phone: +49 3641 2887 0

PONANT (Germany)

Josephine HUBE

+49 (0)40 - 37 70 76-773

PONANT (Worldwide):


About -4H-JENA engineering

-4H-JENA engineering is an established German engineering company providing expert technologies and services in diverse markets. Through its Marine Technologies division, ‑4H-JENA engineering develops, designs, and distributes measuring instruments and complete systems for the investigation of (sea) water for more than 20 years. These include the established CONTROS brand sensors as well as FerryBox systems that sample for various parameters. In addition to the easily configurable and standardised product portfolio, -4H-JENA engineering also develops customised solutions, which are tailored to the respective requirements of the customer.


Explore to Inspire: explore to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 30 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. For more information

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