For nearly 30 years, Compagnie du Ponant has been at the center of France’s glorious maritime convention. Started in 1988 by officers of the French Merchant Navy, the Ponant, as it is commonly called, built its first yacht, Le Ponant, in 1991. Since 2010, the company has kept adding new ships to its fleet, and currently Ponant has a total of 5 ships. The award-winning cruise company provides exciting cruise packages covering all seven continents. It undertakes more than 170 cruises and carries nearly 25,000 passengers every year.
Ponant has consistently ranked among the world’s best cruise lines and has won multiple awards in recent years, including:
- World’s Best Cruise Lines – Conde Nast Traveller UK – No.1 for Service, Small Ships (2015)
- Travel Awards / Le Quotidien du Tourisme Best Cruise Line (2015)
- US Cruise Critic’s Editors’ Picks Awards – Best for Luxury (2014)
- National Geographic Traveler “50 Tours of a Lifetime” Northwest Passage Crossing (2014)
Travelling with Ponant is something that must not be missed, especially if you want to experience the richness, refinement and romance of French culture and cuisine. And Ponant ships are designed to give passengers an intimate yacht experience. Ponant ships are smaller than conventional cruise liners, allowing them to reach unique destinations that larger ships cannot reach.
The French experience is further enhanced by the presence of French luxury and hospitality brands on board, such as VEUVE CLICQUOT champagnes, LADURÉE teatime, beauty firm SOTHYSTM, Pierre FREY for fabrics, home fragrances by FRAGONARD, L’OCCITANE for beauty products, boutique selection from LACOSTE, to name a few.
True to its promise of 5-Star luxury, Ponant regularly hosts renowned personalities from all walks of life to share their passions and experiences with travellers. You also have the option of taking an extended cruise (of up to 81 days) by combining two or more cruises.
Ponant’s five ships represent the epitome of quality, luxury and world-class services.
Le Ponant is the first of Ponant’s ships. Launched in 1991, Le Ponant is a 3-mast sailing yacht, and has 32 staterooms for 64 passengers and 32 crew members. In 2010, the cruise liner launched Le Boreal, a much larger yacht with 132 rooms, accommodating 264 passengers and 140 crew members. By 2015, Ponant added three more sister ships, L’Austral, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial, with similar size and capacity to Le Boreal.
Ponant cruises are designed to include many high quality destinations across the world. Summer cruise packages (April to October) include:
- Arctic & Alaska Cruises: Covering Alaska, Canada, Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Norway (fjords and Spitsbergen), and Russian Arctic
- Asia Cruises: Covering Japan and South Korea
- Northern Europe & the Baltic Cruises: Covering France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia
- Mediterranean Cruises: Spain, Portugal, France, Corsica, Elba Island, Aeolian Islands, Malta, Sardinia, Sicily, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, and Slovenia
Winter cruise packages (October to April) include:
- Antarctica Cruises: Covering South Georgia, Falkland Islands, South Shetland Islands, and Antarctic Peninsula
- Asia Cruises: Covering Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taïwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines
- Africa Cruises: Covering Cape Verde, Bijagos Islands , and South Africa
- Oceania Cruises: Covering Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and Melanesia
- Central America, South America and Caribbean Cruises: Covering Anguilla, Antigua, French West Indies (Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin, Martinique, Guadeloupe), West Indies Netherlands (Curacao), Grenada, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, French Guiana, Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil
Ponant also offers a unique 5-Star Expedition Cruise which include specialized expedition teams that take passengers to exceptional locations, which other cruise liners often cannot access. Ponant has three Expedition cruise packages.
- White Expedition: Covering sites in Arctic and Antarctica
- Blue Expedition: Covering sites in Oceania
- Green Expedition: Covering sites in South America and the Pacific
The line also offers a number of high quality theme cruises. Every theme cruise is based on one of five topics – musical cruises, golf cruises, family cruises, fidelity cruises and gastronomic cruises.
Musical Cruises include opportunities to meet renowned personalities like Alain Duault (musicologist, journalist, writer, television presenter and radio personality) and Cecile Corbel (world famous singer and harp player). Golf Cruises along the Mediterranean allows travellers to visit and play on five exceptional golf courses across Italy, Corsica and France. Ponant has a special Gastronomy Cruise as part of its ‘Mysteries of Scotland’ theme towards May 2016.
At present Ponant has a number of great offers that travellers can take advantage of. Select Alaska Cruises gives you a discount of USD 700 on your flights. You can get up to a 40% discount on specific back-to-back cruises. On certain sailings, you can also get an ocean voyage before or after your cruise, for free, where you only need to pay for port taxes and fees.
Make sure you book your cruises on the Ponant well in advance since rooms get full very quickly. For more details on Ponant Cruise Packages you can visit www.cruisebay.com.