If you love the idea of an adventure or expedition cruise, but want an intimate and luxuriously elegant onboard experience, then you’re going to love this.
A luxury cruise onboard these French-style Ponant ships, combines chic with casual to provide a je ne sais quoi more familiar to that of a private yacht. With one staff member for every two guests, you will find yourself being welcomed onboard by name. The personalised service continues throughout your cruise, as the staff will remember your food and drink preferences from day one.
The intimate ships are small with the largest having just 132 staterooms. Interior decor for four of the ships is contemporary with a nautical feel.
In the evenings there is entertainment which includes parties outside on the top deck. Music is provided by a DJ who plays Mediterranean club style music.
On selected sailings during the summer, children of the ages 4 and over are catered for with a small kids club, and children onboard tend to be well mannered and well behaved.
Destinations and Themed Cruises
Thanks to a reinforced hull, Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial have been awarded Ice 1C certification. This gives the ships access to polar regions that are not readily available to most cruise ships.
Due to their size, not only are these ships able to reach every corner of the globe, but they can get much closer to the most stunning scenery.
Destinations for 2017 include The Arctic, Northern Europe and The Baltic, Asia, Oceania, Mediterranean, Canada and North America. 38 destinations include visits to Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Some of the themed cruises available range from Opera and Mozart to Wine and Gastronomy. A golf themed cruise will take guests to four of the best golf courses in Spain. Starting in Malaga with Torrequebrada Golf Course, you can enjoy your favourite game whilst taking in the stunning Andalusian landscape. Following a day at sea, the cruise docks in Valence, where guests will play at El Salem Golf Course, one of the top three golf courses in Europe. The next stop on this luxury cruise is Palma and a visit to the Son Gual Golf Course, considered to be the best in the Balearic Islands. Finally it’s off to Barcelona for the PGA Catalunya (stadium) Golf Course regularly ranked among the top ten courses in Europe. You can relax on the last day of your cruise and take a leisurely wander around the picturesque French seaside town of Sanary.
The four sister ships Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial are joined by the cruise lines flagship Le Ponant. With only 32 staterooms, this sailing ship is a truly exquisite experience.
In 2018 the fleet will be expanded with two of its four new explorer ships, Le Laperouse and Le Champlain with two to follow in 2019. These incredible ships will be smaller then their four predecessors and combine the sleek, contemporary design of the current fleet, with new environmentally-friendly equipment. New features also include a modular marina platform and infinity pool.
Onboard accommodation comprises 2 berth Deluxe and Prestige staterooms, 3 berth Superior staterooms, 2 berth Deluxe suites and 4 berth Prestige suites. The top suite is the Owners Suite which has the capacity for two guests.
All rooms are equipped with:
Individual Air Conditioning
- King Size or Twin Beds
- Shower (and Bath in Owners Suite)
- French bath products
- Mini Bar and 24 hr room service
- Satellite TV and video on demand
- Desk with stationary, Internet access wifi
- Ipod players
- Safe, Hairdryer and Bathrobes
- Satellite direct line telephone
An onboard theatre provides a venue for talks and lectures as well as shows, musical performances and film screenings. The fitness room with state of the art gym equipment, will ensure your workout regime doesn’t get disrupted whilst you are busy travelling the world.
Of course no luxury cruise ship would be complete without a spa to pamper and indulge. The well-being centres onboard Ponant ships provide an extensive range of treatments using only the best French Sothys products.
Luxury lounge areas decorated in soft nautical tones and sumptuous seating, allows you to relax during your cruise and take in the incredible views.
The ships offer two restaurants onboard. The Grill Restaurant on deck 6 has an open air dining area. The relaxed buffet restaurant serves a variety of delicious cuisine for guests looking for a faster meal service.
On deck 2 is the gastronomic restaurant. Here you will experience the sophisticated elegance of traditional French service and cuisine, combining the best of the local flavours and fine wines.
An extensive complimentary room service menu is available 24 hours a day.
Ponant are members of Charge Bleue d’Amateurs de France and IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). They actively support Le Cercle Polaire and donate 10 Euros to Fablab every time a guest opts to receive electronic documents rather than paper copies.
The four sister ships use electric propulsion systems which are quiet and economical. The engines use less polluting Marine Diesel Oil which has earned them “Clean Ship” status.
In summary, Ponant’s French refinement combined with expedition and adventure cruising, makes this a firm favourite on my bucket list.
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