French luxury cruise line Ponant has frozen operation of its entire fleet, effective 15 March 2020, and introduced flexible rebooking options in response to the current COVID-19 public health crisis. A return-to-service date remains “undetermined”, the company said in a social media post.
Ponant’s fleet of ships include L’Austral, Le Boreal, Le Lyrial and Le Soleal, as well as the PONANT EXPLORER vessels: Le Champlain, Le Laperouse, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville. Those ships are currently deployed around the world, with Le Laperouse presently in New Zealand waters near Auckland.
Ponant President & Co-Founder Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée said that due to the coronavirus outbreak, the cruise line’s ships were “unable to continue to sail in good conditions, and so we made the decision, with heavy-hearts, to stop operating our entire fleet from March 15, until further notice”.
“All our teams are working hard to manage the cancellation of upcoming cruises, namely those due to depart between now and 19 April at the very minimum, as efficiently as possible,” Ponant said. Future Cruise Credits valid for 18 months are one options available to impacted guests.
“Once this crisis period is over, and with the addition to our fleet of the Le Bellot and the Le Jacques Cartier, Ponant will be ready to again begin operating its cruises, more committed than ever to providing its passengers with exceptional travel and voyage experiences,” Ponant added.