9 months ago
One luxury cruise ship operator is actually sinking part of its vessel to raise guests’ travel experience to the next level.
French company Ponant—which operates luxe cruises in places like Alaska, Antarctica, and Russia—has recently unveiled its Blue Eye feature, the first underwater onboard lounge.
The room and its stunning views will first be added to its Le Lapérouse ship, and be followed up by three more, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, and Le Dumont-d’Urville, in the near future.
Located within the ship’s hull below the waterline, Blue Eye is the brainchild of architect Jacques Rougerie, who designed the room to look like its own sea creature, with the focus of the aquatically themed room drawn in to its two porthole–like eyes. Three underwater cameras also beam images back to the lounge via digital screens to give guests the full submersion effect.
If this sounds eerily familiar, it’s basically a real-life version of villain Stromberg’s Atlantis lair from James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me (see below).
The lounge not only offers guests a highly visual experience, but also one that is uniquely auditory. Michel Redolfi, a contemporary music composer and sound designer, was brought in to make the effect happen. Via specially built underwater mikes—created in partnership with the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea affixed to the ship’s hull—guests actually get to hear what’s going on in the azure depths around them. The sonic experience even translates to the lounge’s sofas, which vibrate when aquatic noises sound.
Take a sneak-peek at the Blue Eye in Ponant’s teaser video below.