- Intimate ships with elegant casual onboard atmosphere
- French cuisine cooked by French chefs
- Visits exotic destinations around the world
- Good value for money for an upmarket experience
- Ponant News: Ponant's 'Blue Eye' Underwater Lounge to Feature Vibrating Sofas and Hydrophone Sound System on Four New Cruise Ships
Ponant Fleet (7)
Ponant's fleet consists of five vessels. The 64-passenger Le Ponant, which debuted in 1991, is a three-masted sailing ship.
Four identical new-builds debuted in 2010, 201, 2013 and 2015. The 264-passenger Le Boreal, L'Austral, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial, respectively, are state-of-the-art cruise ships, featuring all-outside cabins, 95 percent with balconies.
The line plans to build four 184-passenger expedition ships, with the first set to debut in 2018. The 429-foot-long ships will have 92 cabins and be Ice Class rated for polar expeditions.
Ponant's fleet of four virtually identical 264-passenger ships, Le Soleal, Le Boreal, L'Austral and Le Lyrial, offers an elegant, relaxed, yacht-like atmosphere onboard without losing the comforts of a cruise experience. Most cabins have balconies, and each ship has two restaurants, three lounges, a library/card room, an Internet nook, a spa and a fitness facility. About the only thing these four vessels don't have are casinos.
The 64-passenger Le Ponant, built in 1991, is a three-masted sailing ship. It sails some of the company's most exotic itineraries.
Whichever ship you choose, expect intimate onboard spaces that inspire a congenial atmosphere among guests. The crew offer personalized service. Because this is a French cruise line, European cuisine is a hallmark of the experience (though on charters to U.S.-based travel companies, menus might be tweaked, slightly, to accommodate American tastes).
One difference between Ponant's cruises and those of other upscale lines is that pricing is more a la carte. You could pay extra for shore excursions, cocktails (unless a drinks' package is included in your fare), Internet, gratuities and other services, depending on where you buy your cruise; the policies vary for U.S., U.K., French, German and Australian customers, so it can be confusing.
The line's a la carte fares, though, are competitive for its upmarket niche, so Ponant's value-for-money ratio is high.