Spirit of Ponant blessed in symbolic ceremony

Twelve-guest catamaran expands PONANT's fleet to 14 vessels

The Spirit of Ponant catamaran, the newest addition to the fleet of PONANT, received a blessing in time-honoured tradition at the foot of Mucem in Marseille’s inner harbour last week.

In a ceremony led by Father Olivier Spinosa, Rector at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde, the French-built catamaran was officially welcomed into the PONANT fleet.

Flying the French flag like all 13 other ships in the fleet, the Spirit of Ponant will offer an immersive experience, sailing to the most beautiful islands on the planet.

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“We are very honoured to have the Spirit of Ponant under the patronage of La Bonne-Mère [the basilica’s nickname meaning Mother of God, Mary], protector of sailors,” recalls Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT.

“The Spirit of Ponant is the perfect expression of our pioneering spirit and commitment to more responsible tourism. This unique travel format in the luxury cruise sector offers guests a chance to experience what it is really like to be a sailor,” Gastinel said.

“I congratulate the teams for all their hard work in integrating this lovely yacht and the offer into our fleet so quickly”.

Prestige Spirit stateroom aboard Spirit of Ponant

PONANT only revealed it was adding this luxury catamaran to its fleet two months ago, in April 2024.

Spirit of Ponant is a 24m maxi-catamaran with six staterooms offering a unique sailing experience with easy access to the sea and a range of water sports. With 12 guests and four crew, including a chef, the Spirit of Ponant combines the intimacy of sailing with all the refinements and personalised service that are the hallmarks of PONANT voyages. With this new addition, PONANT now has a fleet of 14 ships sailing under the French flag, a guarantee of safety and security that only two cruise companies in the world can ensure: PONANT and Club Med.

The blessing ceremony began at 6.00pm, attended by the ship’s godmother, Véronique Hamdaoui-Guiot, Chief People and Culture Officer at PONANT; Hervé Gastinel the company’s CEO; and the ship’s Captain Kevin Delannoy.

“This blessing is one of the rituals that remind us of our origins and our culture as sailors,” said Véronique Hamdaoui Guiot. “All PONANT employees proudly welcome this magnificent vessel through the honour bestowed on me to be godmother to the Spirit of Ponant”.

With Spirit of Ponant, the company is adding another string to its bow of offers in exclusive private settings. A bold and innovative choice it once again confirms the company’s commitment to more responsible tourism and its historic attachment to sailing. Built in France and sailing under the French flag, the Spirit of Ponant promises an immersive experience sailing to the world’s most beautiful islands.

For her inaugural season, the catamaran will be spending the summer of 2024 in Corsica before heading to the Seychelles for winter 2025.

See www.spiritofponant.com.

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