Le Dumont d'Urville Cruise Review by dlyons4937
Ponant cruise lines chartered the Le Dumont D'Urville to Thomas P Gohagan & Co. who then marketed the Baltic Sea cruise primarily through college/university alumni offices, Smithsonian Journeys, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Philadelphia Council on World Affairs, etc. So the cruise passengers were members of the various alumni groups and marketing organizations and each of the organizations had a representative who gave lectures during the cruise. Ponant also markets similar cruises directly to the public without the alumni connections and lectures. The Le Dumont D'Urville is a new ship in 2019 so the cabins and all the facilities of the ship were new and designed to a high standard. My understanding is that Ponant has ordered several ships with a standard design that are being delivered in 2019 and 2020. Although the ship has only 92 cabins it is still a sizable ship at 400+ feet long and was stable throughout our cruise. The kitchen is an excellent French kitchen with an outstanding pastry chef. The cabin was well designed with a sliding door to the balcony/veranda. The theater, dining room, grill, observatory lounge were all very comfortable. Although the ship carries an excellent pianist, singer, and dancers, entertainment was limited. Shore excursions were included for all passengers (no need to sign up in advance) with very good local guides and comfortable buses and covered the highlights of the cities visited. There was a pre-cruise extension in Stockholm and a post-cruise extension in Norway covering Oslo, the Oslo-Bergen train, Flam with a fjord cruise, and Bergen. This small ship experience was focused on shore excursions, lectures, excellent meals, and a comfortable outside cabin.
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