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Le Lyrial (Ponant) Review

Le Lyrial
Le Lyrial
2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

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Le Lyrial (Ponant)
0.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


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 394
Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Overview

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.

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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.

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?
How much does it cost to go on Le Lyrial (Ponant)?
Cruises on Le Lyrial (Ponant) start from $2,090 per person.
Is Le Lyrial (Ponant) a good ship to cruise on?
Le Lyrial (Ponant) won 2 awards over the years, including Best for Cabins, Best for Fitness & Recreation in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best for Cabins
  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Member Reviews

Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We selected the Abercrombie and Kent-Ponant cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands for its relatively small size - 170 passengers - and the reputation of the expeditionary staff. The expeditions...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Jul 2019
We liked the idea of French food and smaller portions and not American food which we get on Seabourn. We also wanted to visit Croatia in a small ship. We loved the ship and the open bridge policy. We found the...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Jul 2019
This might be a lengthy review, but I feel it needs to be because when booking with Ponant, I found little to no reviews on this company, especially for people who were bringing children. We traveled with our...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Jul 2019
This cruise was chosen as it is a smaller ship with only 220 guests. We never felt crowded and the choice of services meant everyone was spread out. A lovely group of people cruising and the whole experience was...Read More

Ponant Fleet