Club Med 2, one of the world's largest sailing ships, relaunched in December 2022 following a two-month-long 10M Euro refurbishment. The vessel is owned by the all-inclusive French travel and tourism operator Club Med and is part of their Exclusive Collection portfolio which includes high-end resorts, villas and chalets worldwide. The five-masted 386-passenger ship is the only vessel in the Club Med fleet and is touted by the company as “a legendary French sailing yacht.”
Club Med 2 was built in 1992 at the Ateliers et Chantiers shipyard in Le Havre, France, and is a sister ship to Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf. Prior to the December 2022 refit, the last refurbishment project was in 2008.
The latest upgrade features 29,000 square feet of new teak decks, a redesigned restaurant and lounge, insulation of the gym floor and USB and USB C-type ports installed by the bed in the cabins.
Reimagined by French designer Sophie Jacqmin and inspired by the French Riviera and the sea, the refreshed Monte Carlo restaurant features nautical elements in its design, including a prominent glass installation resembling a Fresnel lens as you enter the dining room. Other new touches include live cooking stations and seasonal menus created by the leading French culinary organization FERRANDI Paris, which will reflect the ship’s destinations while chasing the warm temperatures from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.
The French Riviera is also the inspiration for the updated Yacht Club Lounge (also designed by Sophie Jacqmin). The cozy groupings in the interior hub of the ship feature casual furniture with fabrics in beachy hues of turquoise, yellow, cream and pink. You’ll also find a throwback to the late 1960s with several salmon-colored bean bag chairs arranged throughout the room.
The USB and USB C-type ports were the only recent upgrades to the 184 cabins, which include 10 suites and one Owner’s Suite. The cabins and suites are located on the lower three passenger decks (Decks B to D) and on Deck F of the six-deck yacht and come in three categories ranging in size from 193 square feet to 420-square-foot suites.
The line’s private Caribbean Beach Club, situated on Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic, is a fresh offering for the ship. While ashore, guests can dine at the open-air barbecue buffet for lunch, sip cocktails served in coconuts at the tiki bar and participate in yoga paddle instruction and Aqua Zumba classes. Back on board the ship at Nautical Hall, the ship’s marina, a new active pursuit is the Hobie Mirage Eclipse, a stand-up paddleboard with a steering handlebar.
According to a representative for Club Med 2, there are no current plans to refurbish the remaining areas of the ship, which include the cabins and suites, the ship’s buffet restaurant, Le Saint-Tropez, and the indoor/outdoor Bar Le Portofino. The cabins, highly used venues (such as Le Saint-Tropez and Bar Le Portofino) and public areas throughout the ship feel and look very different from the refurbished spaces with older carpeting, furniture and décor.
Passengers familiar with Club Med resorts will recognize the club-like atmosphere on board Club Med 2 with its own language for the guests, staff and crew. Guests on the yacht are called GMs (Gentil Membres) and the staff, Gentil Organisateurs or GOs, which translates to “Kind Organizer.” There is a Cruise Director, but that person is not on the ship full-time. The Village Chief or Chef de Village is the individual that is responsible for the day-to-day activities on the yacht.
As you might expect with “a legendary French yacht,” the ship also feels très chic with French spoken as the primary language. The daily program that is shown on an electronic board in the reception area rotates between French and English. Signs on the restaurant buffet in Le Saint-Tropez are in French and English. The menu at Monte Carlo is in both languages. ByHerberson yoga and other exercise classes are conducted in French. You‘ll also find most of the music played on the ship is in French. And of course, there is French cuisine, including imported cheeses from France, French breads and French dishes. GMs enjoy free-flowing French Champagne every evening after 6 p.m.
Monte Carlo and Le Saint-Tropez are the two restaurants on the ship. Le Saint-Tropez serves a buffet breakfast and lunch daily. There’s also a buffet dinner in the evenings, except for one plated dinner during the cruise (depending on the length of the voyage). Monte Carlo is a seated and more formal affair. Both restaurants open for dinner at 8 p.m.
Afternoon tea (at around 4:30 p.m.) and aperitifs at 7 p.m. are available at Bar le Portofino almost daily. Guests can check the board in the reception area for the schedule. You’ll also find two outdoor bars: Bar Le-Saint Barth on Deck G, the highest point of the ship, and Les Cannes on Deck E by the saltwater pool at the back of the ship.
Room service is included as part of the all-inclusive fare for breakfast, but other options throughout the day come with an additional cost.
Entertainment is more laid back on Club Med 2 with no full-time cruise director or professional dancers or singers on the yacht. Depending on the sailing, you’ll find guest musicians and artists performing a variety of genres, ranging from upbeat DJs to piano sessions. Many of the GOs perform along with the guest entertainers throughout the voyage. You’ll find them in full costume hosting dance parties with the DJs or performing poolside on theme nights. They also have their own show in the Yacht Club lounge.
There are two saltwater pools on the yacht – on Decks G and E. Guests will also find a nice boutique with Club Med logo attire and other clothing, jewelry and accessories. The Spa by Sothys features treatments using the Sothys Paris brand of body and skincare products. There is one sauna located by the Nautical Hall, and the ship has a Medical Center.
Club Med 2 offers a Children's Club for ages 8 to 17. There is not a physical space for the club, so kids and teens can expect to spend time outdoors on the ship with the GOs that organize water sports, games and activities throughout the day.
The ship, which is equipped with two engines, follows the sun and sails under wind power whenever conditions allow, saving up to 20% of the fuel consumption when fully rigged.
Club Med 2 offers seven- to nine-night voyages in the Caribbean in the winter and a 12-night Transatlantic crossing in the spring (March 2023) before sailing on a nine-night cruise in the Canary Islands and Morocco in April and around the Mediterranean coastline in the summer.
Due to its small size, Club Med 2 can dock at smaller ports that are inaccessible to larger ships such as Italy's Portofino, Nice in France and Tobago Cays in the Grenadines. There are also themed golf cruises in the Mediterranean and special family sailings during school vacations.
All-inclusive fares start at $3,463 per person (for an adult), based on double occupancy.
The ship is 14,983 gross tons, 637 feet in length and carries 386 passengers at full occupancy with 207 crew.