Marlink supports PONANT’s premiere voyage to the geographic North Pole

Tuesday 9, November 2021

When the innovative cruise operator announced plans for its polar exploration vessel, it turned to the leading provider of smart hybrid network solutions

Credit: ©PONANT/Nicolas Dubreuil

Maritime destinations don’t come much more remote than the geographic North Pole but for innovative cruise operator like PONANT there are no barriers that can’t be broken, with Marlink as a partner.

When PONANT announced the construction of Le Commandant Charcot, the expedition cruise operator founded by former French merchant naval officers turned to Marlink to provide its expertise in smart hybrid network solutions. The ship’s voyages to the geographic North Pole would pose unique challenges and require a network solution that could support Le Commandant Charcot’s onboard needs for data and voice connectivity.

The challenge PONANT posed to Marlink was simple: to create a communications solution without compromise and worthy of the greatest polar explorers and tailored for those who follow their footsteps.

Le Commandant Charcot became the first vessel of her kind to reach the geographic North Pole on September 6, 2021, during sea trials in preparation for her inaugural season to the Antarctic this winter and to the Arctic next summer.

Marlink provided a unique and industry-first hybrid network solution, combining Sealink dual C- and Ku-band VSAT connectivity, GEO and LEO L-band services and a high-data volume LEO Ku-band store & forward capability.

Core to the deployment was the Marlink Smart Edge integrated service delivery platform which orchestrates and optimises all network elements and applications, from data handling to software defined routeing (SD-WAN) for an optimized and unparalleled guest experience.

Marlink’s LTE/GSM service completes the hybrid network solution and enables PONANT to provide aggregated delivery of hundreds of gigabytes of data per month, offering a record amount of data to connectivity-hungry guests.

The ship’s itinerary meant that Marlink would need to create a network optimised to perform above 80 degrees latitude. While the current C- and Ku-band GEO VSAT can’t provide coverage to that point, Marlink provided a combination of aggregated LEO services with a highspeed ‘store and forward’ LEO service for the very highest latitudes.

By combining dedicated GEO and LEO constellations with its managed services expertise, terrestrial connectivity and global network know-how, Marlink is able to provide the best possible services and make the maximum effort to keep PONANT’s promises to its guests, crew and ship management.

About the Marlink Group

Marlink is the trusted partner in fully managed smart network solutions, based on an intelligent hybrid network and unrivalled digital solutions.

The company provides Smart Network Solutions, connecting people and assets around the globe and across all markets where conventional connectivity cannot reach or is not available. Marlink’s Intelligent Hybrid Network combines global satcom and terrestrial technologies via a proprietary global infrastructure.

The Marlink Smart Edge, an integrated service delivery platform, orchestrates and optimises all network elements and applications, from data handling and IT to application-based routing (SD Wan), cloud and Digital Solutions, including remote data and IT, cyber security as well as IoT/OT solutions.

This provides customers with full ‘Peace of Mind’ that their chosen network solution is fully optimised, integrated and has the security required to operate more profitably and sustainably, increasing their efficiency and safety through operational optimisation, tracking and routing, monitoring and reporting.

Marlink’s Smart Network Solutions are provided as Managed Services meeting the highest quality standards and service level agreements. The company proactively monitors and supports network solutions, providing alerts, reporting and insights on performance and usage of connectivity, systems, and applications as well as advice and consultancy on how to further optimise customer networks.