Plan Your Ponant Vacation
Ponant operates three designer ships for all-season premium yet unpretentious yacht cruising in places inaccessible to larger cruise ships. At this writing, a fourth ship was expected for delivery in July 2013. With distinctively French flair, the cruise company strikes an
appealing balance between destination choice and price point on luxuriously refurbished modern sailing vessels that feature French gastronomy, elegant styling, and unique voyages with all-inclusive packages. Travel is privileged yet unpretentious aboard a small majestic three-masted sailing yacht or larger megayacht.
For experienced cruisers or newcomers, the fantasy of having one’s own private yacht to sail the seven seas comes closer to reality with exotic itineraries on upscale, uncrowded ships operated by Ponant, which was begun in 1988 by CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipping company. In 2008, Ponant made international headlines when its smallest sailing yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates off the coast of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. That incident had a very positive ending, and the company has since offered solid years of safe, luxury maritime travel and good reviews from discerning passengers, most of whom are European, American, and Australian globetrotters. Expectations for substantial entertainment, perfect service, and regal accommodations should be kept realistic since these ships are limited in size. Nevertheless, Ponant’s ambitious agenda is to provide impeccable, five-star cruising to its affluent clientele. The ships offer fine dining, outstanding attention to interior design, expedition-style cruising on eco-friendly, state-of-the-art vessels, and a sophisticated feel reminiscent of a hip boutique hotel, and these expectations are more than met for offbeat journeys draped in contemporary prestige.
Key Ponant Tips
Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips
Top Reasons To Cruise
- Exotic Locales Ponant provides yacht cruises to inaccessible worldwide locations and remote ports of call.
- Luxurious Comforts Ultracomfortable cabins, excellent food, and facilities with designer furnishings and elegant French atmosphere are the norm.
- Intimacy Ships have limited passenger capacity, ranging between 64 and 226 guests.
- Special-Interest Cruising Themed cruises (culinary, golf, classical music, jazz, bridge, wellness) featuring expert lecturers and special venues on board and ashore are common.
- Eco-friendly “Green label” ships are outfitted with the latest technology to protect the oceans and marine life.
Is This Line Right For You?
Choose This Line If
- You’ve always dreamt of sailing on your own private yacht.
- Destinations in remote ports of call and inaccessible landscapes are a priority.
- You appreciate open-air cruising (large sundecks, terraces, sea-level platforms, and cabins with private balconies) and discreet elegance.
Don't Choose This Line If
- You seek a no-frills holiday with loud parties and prefer sandwiches for dinner.
- You like to dress up in ostentatious glitz and glamorous eveningwear.
- Luxury travel with refined French elegance, sophistication, and language just isn’t your cup of tea.
What To Expect On Board
Gastronomy is taken pretty seriously on Ponant ships. Buttery croissants and artisanal baguettes with confiture, fruit, yogurts, coffee, and juices are available for breakfast; eggs and specialty dishes can be ordered à la carte. International buffets for lunch and dinner
lay out a high-quality spread of cold and hot appetizers, entrées, salads, and desserts. Fresh ingredients and skilled preparation by resident French chefs and bakers keep culinary standards at an outstanding level for grilled and roasted meat, fish, vegetarian meals, and desserts. In more formal dining areas, most dinner menus offer a choice between two soups, three appetizers/salads, two main courses, a cheese tray, and a couple of sumptuous desserts. While oenophiles may be disappointed with the free table wine served for lunch and dinner, premium bottles can be ordered for a supplementary cost. Back by popular demand, the Food & Wine Cruise pleases passenger palates with Flavors of the Riviera. All lunches and dinners include complimentary mineral water, tea, coffee, and wines. Twenty-four-hour room service is available.
Special events including the Captain’s cocktail party and farewell dinner spice up the rather unimaginative entertainment program that does not promise to be grandiose and theatrical. Instead, most passengers simply relax while watching small groups of performers and dancers.
Guest speakers lecture on geography, conservation, and wildlife in the cabaret-style theater on larger ships, which is also used for evening shows. On smaller vessels, piano bars and chic lounges offer opportunities to make new friends from around the world.
Fitness and Recreation
Passengers burn off calories in a fully equipped gym, outdoor heated swimming pool, or spa equipped with sauna and steam rooms. Plenty of lounges, sundecks, panoramic promenades, bars, reading rooms, library, casino, and shops satisfy early birds and night owls. Shore excursions
upon landing perhaps constitute the most fun activity. Some of these include spectacular terrain hikes and Zodiac cruises across frozen vistas, turquoise horizons, or historic coastlines. Themed cruises offer comprehensive activities, including demonstrations, classes, performances, and well-planned excursions. On larger ships, Wi-Fi stations offer gaming consoles. All vessels have Internet rooms and Wi-Fi—which costs €5 per half hour.