Ponant unveils underwater Blue Eye lounge for new cruise ships

The world's first underwater ship lounge, equipped with vibrating sofas and an innovative sound system capturing the acoustics of the sea will offer passengers an 'immersive sensory experience of the subaquatic world,' according to cruise company Ponant which announced plans for the underwater lounge last year.

Sitting two-to-three metres below the water level within the ship's hull, the dark and cavernous Blue Eye lounge has more than a hint of a Bond villain's lair.

Passengers will observe the underwater world through two giant curved portholes (1.6 metres x 3.4 metres), designed in the shape of a cetacean eye, while live footage of the surrounding marine life will be projected onto digital screens that will 'wallpaper' the room.

Sound, transmitted via hydrophones, will be captured across a five-kilometre radius of the ship. The high-tech space also comes with "body listening sofas" that vibrate discreetly to promote "corporal resonance" (where sound waves are transmitted across the body), allowing passengers to experience the rhythms of the ocean and its marine mammals by "listening through their entire body".

The underwater projectors, which are said to be non-intrusive to the marine biosphere, also allow guests to observe subaquatic organisms from the outside decks and balconies of the ship.

The new Blue Eye lounge will available on Ponant's fleet of four new luxury yachts, the first two of which (Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain) will be launched in 2018, followed by Bougainville and Le Dumont-d'Urville in 2019.

At 127 metres-long, the seven-deck ships will accommodate 184 passengers in 92 cabins and sail to places including the Great Lakes, the Panama Canal, the Amazon, the Baltic Sea, Indian Ocean and Great Barrier Reef.

Each of the ships will feature a resistance infinity pool, a sundeck and a three-position marina platform.

The Telegraph, London

See also: New, ultra-luxury ship takes to the sea for the first time

See also: Cutting edge: Cruise company reveals design for new class of cruise ship

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