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Le Bellot Review

Le Bellot  (Image: Ponant)
Le Bellot (Image: Ponant)

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Aaron Saunders
Cruise Critic Contributor

Le Bellot Overview

The fifth luxury expedition cruise ship in Ponant's newest series of vessel, Le Bellot will make its debut in 2020. Offering up all the chic French styling for which Ponant has come to be known, this 184-passenger vessel is equipped with Zodiac rafts and a nifty underwater viewing lounge that's sure to impress.

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Over the past few years, Ponant has made a name for itself by offering innovative cruises aboard its fleet of increasingly sleek and modern vessels. Le Bellot continues that tradition. Those looking for a European-style cruise experience that caters to international passengers will not be disappointed. Expect a great deal of internationally-influenced cuisines onboard, served by an international and French staff who switch effortlessly between multiple languages.

Le Bellot offers up sumptuous suites and beautiful public rooms adorned with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Expect a healthy dose of modern interior design, complete with vibrant reds, charcoal greys and brilliant whites accented with hints of nautical blue throughout the vessel.

Those expecting a fast-paced ship will be disappointed; like other Ponant ships, Le Bellot caters to a more cerebral crowd of well-heeled travelers.

Dining

Ponant spells it out: Eating is an important part of French culture. To that end, two different restaurants are featured aboard Le Bellot.

The first is the ship's main dining room on Deck 4, which can accommodate all passengers in a single seating. The main dining room offers the ability to open up to the aft stern decks, creating an alfresco dining experience when conditions permit. In addition to a buffet, a full menu is offered there.

More casual diners might want to head to the outdoor grill on Deck 3, which serves up a variety of pool deck favorites.  

Cabins

Le Bellot has a total of 94 cabins onboard, separated into eight grades of accommodation. Across all levels, passengers will find complimentary room service and Wi-Fi internet access.

For an entry-level accommodation, balcony staterooms aboard Le Bellot leave a good impression. Each measures 205 square feet with a balcony measuring 45 square feet. These come complete with king or twin beds and a bathroom stocked with French toiletries. Other niceties include an interactive television system, iPod sound system, bathrobes, a desk and vanity area, and a hair dryer.

Moving up in size, Le Bellot's Deluxe Suites offer 290 square feet of living space, each with a 65-square-foot balcony. They offer all the amenities included with the standard balcony staterooms.

Prestige Suites are larger still, measuring 410 square feet apiece with a 90 square foot balcony. All that space gives passengers larger balconies and expanded living areas. 

Privilege Suites are each 340 square feet and feature an 80-suqare-foot balcony. The big changes here are reserved for the bathrooms, which come with separate shower and bathtub facilities.

Grand Deluxe Suites are located aft on Decks 5 and 6 and feature 320-square-foot wraparound balconies. That's in addition to the 480 square feet of living space offered in these lavish suites, which are privileged to have views overlooking the ship's side and stern. 

A single Owners Suite can be found on Deck 6. Identical in size to the Grand Deluxe Suites, the key defining feature is the private hot tub that graces the room's balcony.

Entertainment

Entertainment options aboard Le Bellot are excellent for a ship of this size.

The most talked-about spot onboard is the Blue Eye Lounge -- a sort of Jules Vernian underwater observation area with curved porthole-style windows that allow guests to spy on the undersea life outside the vessel.

Le Bellot also offers the obligatory Main Lounge, where daily enrichment lectures and port briefings are held.

Also essential on any expedition ship is the Panoramic Lounge, a forward-facing observation lounge located up on Deck 6, offering striking 180-degree views of Le Bellot's surroundings.

Other fun diversions include an onboard marina platform for launching Zodiac rafts and organized water sports activities. Additionally, the ship features an elegant spa, salon and fitness center complex,  which serves as a sort of entertainment on vessels of this size.

Itineraries

Le Bellot debuts in 2020 and begins cruising the fjords of Norway with an eight-night sailing from Bergen to Copenhagen. From there, the ship explores the Baltics, Western Europe and Iceland.


Ponant Fleet