Ponant is the French luxury expedition small-ship cruise company, featuring the youngest fleet of ships in the world (with a maximum of just 132 staterooms and suites), with a further four more specialist luxury expedition ice-rated ships currently under construction for progressive delivery from mid-2018. In addition, maintaining the Ponant seafaring tradition, is a classic three-masted yacht, Le Ponant (with just 32 staterooms).
The four new Explorer-class ships (with just 92 suites and staterooms, all with private balcony) will feature a very Jules Verne world first: Blue Eye, a multi-sensory underwater lounge where guests will be able to view the marine environment through glass windows and hear the underwater sounds of marine life while enjoying a martini or glass of champagne.
The 400-plus voyages scheduled from polar region to polar region include itineraries for Alaska, the Arctic and the Antarctic (with more than 15 years’ experience Ponant carries more passengers to polar regions than any other cruise line). Australia’s Kimberley region, Melanesia, Asia, North and South America, the Mediterranean and Baltic also feature strongly, with many voyages visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Some cruises are relaxed cultural experiences, while other itineraries, designated ‘Expedition voyages’, visit remote places far from the mainstream tourist cruise routes, the experiences enhanced by regular Zodiac trips accompanied by specialist expedition team members and informative lectures on board.
Small ships provide exclusive access to destinations unavailable to large ships, transiting the Corinth Canal or probing the Amazon being just two examples.
Chic and stylish, all ships are imbued with a French ambience. A bilingual crew, attentive service, Open Bar and fine food and wines experienced in luxurious surroundings are Ponant’s signature.