On 5 October, the christening of the Canopée, Neptune’s new-build double propelled open top RoRo vessel for Jifmar Offshore Services, took place in Bordeaux, France. With its four 37-metre-high Oceanwings, the Canopée, has 1500 square metres of sail area, which are to save up to 7200 tonnes of CO2 annually.

The hybrid vessel combines engine power with wind propulsion to transport components for the Ariane 6 rocket to French Guyane. It is exclusively dedicated to the European Space Agency – ESA and is scheduled to make eleven round trips to French Guyane each year.

Travelling up the river Garonne, the imposing vessel swept beneath two bridges, Pont d’Aquitaine and Pont Chaban-Delmas, to arrive at Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune, right in the city centre for its christening. Watch a video of the ceremony below.

Also read: Canopée fitted with Oceanwings

En route to French Guyane

A day later, the Canopée set off for its next port of call, the Hanseatic city of Bremen in northern Germany. This stop in Bremen was to test the logistics of the harbour infrastructure with partner BLG Logistics Group for the loading of the Ariane 6 upper stage.

The Canopée can transport all the Ariane 6 launcher components from continental Europe to Kourou, French Guyane, in a single voyage. Each voyage between Europe and French Guiana will include a number of ports of call: Bremen (upper stage), Rotterdam (half-fairing), Le Havre (core stage produced in Les Mureaux near Paris and shipped via river Seine), Bordeaux (solid propulsion components and booster parts produced in Nouvelle Aquitaine), and finally Kourou for delivery of the launcher components to the European Spaceport. The whole journey takes around 27 days.

Also read: Canopée makes first Atlantic crossing for Bolloré

Ship of the Year nomination

The Neptune Marine built Canopée is also one of the three ships nominated for the Maritime Ship of the Year Award (formerly known as the KNVTS Ship of the Year Award). The winner will be announced at the Maritime Awards Gala on 6 November at Ahoy in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Also read: KNVTS nominates Sparky, Canopée and E-Pusher 1 for Ship of the Year Award

Picture by Tom van Oossanen/KNVTS.