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Le Lyrial (Ponant) Review

-- / 5.0
Editor Rating
53 reviews
See all photos
Dori Saltzman

Le Lyrial is one of four sister ships in the fleet of Ponant, a French luxury expedition cruise line. The ship holds just 264 people, but manages to pack a lot into a small space, including a full-service spa, fitness center and a heated swimming pool.

The ship has a wonderfully calm vibe, with a sedate elegance and a marine-inspired decor. We particularly loved the primary atrium sculpture, which mimics whirling columns of fish.

Ponant is a French line and the service, food and entertainment onboard are French. Announcements are made in French first, dinner is served late, the cuisine is French-inspired and entertainment in the theater is cabaret style, while in the lounge the singers channel their inner Edith Piaf.

Le Lyrial sails primarily in Europe, South America and around Africa. When in Europe, it offers culturally rich itineraries throughout the Mediterranean. During the rest of the year, it sails expedition journeys to Antarctica, around the coast of South Africa and to the African islands (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, etc.). The onboard marina is stocked with kayaks and Zodiacs for use on these more exotic sailings.


Elegantly appointed ship with excellent service and relaxed vibe


Unless you're in a suite, cabins are too small; strange bathroom layout

Bottom Line

A beautiful small ship sailing destination-rich itineraries


Passengers: 264
Crew: 139
Passenger to Crew: 1.9:1
Launched: 2015
Shore Excursions: 331

Fellow Passengers

Most passengers on a Le Lyrial cruise are French, with a smattering of cruisers from English speaking-countries (mostly U.K. and Australia) as well as other European countries and occasionally Asia. You might also find yourself on a sailing in which part of the ship has been chartered by an American tour operator (such as Tauck). Cruises during school holidays will attract young French families, though not in large numbers.

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Dress Code

During the day and especially on shore excursions, casual, comfortable clothing is the norm. Depending on your itinerary, specific clothing might be recommended (waterproof, wind-resistant pieces, hiking boots, etc.). In the evening, attire is at passengers' discretion, though jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops are not permitted in Le Celeste main dining room. On Gala Nights, cruisers are encouraged to dress up in their finest, but it's not required. Keep in mind, the French do tend to dress nicely for dinner.

Le Lyrial Inclusions

The cruise fare is only slightly inclusive on Le Lyrial with just drinks (soft and alcoholic, but not premium brands) included in the price, as well as Wi-Fi. Shore excursions (with very few exceptions), laundry, tips and the spa are not included. The euro is the onboard currency.

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More about Le Lyrial (Ponant)

Where does Le Lyrial (Ponant) sail from?

Le Lyrial (Ponant) departs from Ushuaia, Malaga, Kangerlussuaq, St. Malo, Santiago (Valparaiso), Valparaiso, Tromso, Dublin, Edinburgh, Reykjavik, Rome, and Civitavecchia

How much does it cost to go on Le Lyrial (Ponant)?

Cruises on Le Lyrial (Ponant) start from $1,870 per person.

Is Le Lyrial (Ponant) a good ship to cruise on?

Le Lyrial (Ponant) won 2 awards over the years.
Le Lyrial (Ponant) Cruiser Reviews

Lovely vessel, excellent food, attentive crew and engaging fellow passengers

I unreservedly recommend Ponant and Le Lyrial for those interested in smaller ship cruising.Read More
bluewater sail

2-5 Cruises

Age 60s

Great ship bad food

We were on with a group from a wine club and had cruised many times in the past but never on Ponant. The ship and cabins were superior to most.Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Overall a good experience although the company do not respond to criticism/complaints

Despite a complaint about these things, Ponant are completely unresponsive and haven't addressed either in a satisfactory way.Read More

First Time Cruiser

Age 60s

Ponant - Treasures of the Aegean Sea w/ COVID info August 2021

Several will only be seen by Le Lyrial, MS Hamburg and Silver Moon — all fairly small ships, though Lyrial is about 1/3 the size of Silver Moon.Read More

10+ Cruises

Age 50s

Ponant Fleet
Le Ponant
9 reviews
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