Ponant, the luxury small French cruise line and world No. 1 for polar cruises, brought its 132-berth luxury cruise yacht L’Austral into Dublin Port yesterday and has opened sales of its winter 2017-2018 cruises to the Antarctic – and there are a few staterooms still available to go to the Antarctic in winter 2016/2017. In addition to iconic itineraries that feature every year in the company’s portfolio, Ponant is offering two special voyages: ‘Beyond the Polar Circle’ and ‘Antarctica to Africa’.
The visit by L’Austral follows the success of sistership Le Soléal’s visit to Dublin in 2015. Ponant is the only French cruise line and the world leader in polar cruising perpetuating the great French maritime tradition – with exceptional destinations and 5-star services on intimate ships embodying a lifestyle ‘à la française’. The cruise line offers a variety of itineraries ranging from the Great North, the Adriatic and the Bay of California to Japan and the Pacific island of Noumea.
Exploring extreme parts of the world while enjoying a 5-star service unique to the polar regions is the concept created by Ponant that has become its hallmark. From November to January 2018, Ponant has 11 cruises on offer, including two unusual routes seeking out wildlife not found anywhere else in the world in their natural habitat.
Aboard Le Boréal, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, with luxurious 122 to 132 staterooms and suites under the French flag, all with the international Green Ship label and designed specifically for polar cruises, passengers have access to strictly protected locations only accessible to small capacity ships.
The emphasis here is on total flexibility, with zodiac outings taking passengers as close as it is possible to be to the wildlife, with time to linger in iconic sites, make a detour to admire the acrobatics of a humpback whale, or land on a beach to greet a vast colony of penguins.
These cruises offer unique moments enlightened by the expertise of renowned South Pole specialists, who share their passion and expertise on polar lands they have been roaming for years.
Beyond the Polar Circle
For the first time, Ponant will be crossing the Antarctic Polar Circle, latitude 66° 33’ 39”. After calling into the Falkland Islands and sailing through South Georgia, passengers will reach the Antarctic Peninsula via the mythical Polar Circle line.
The Ushuaia – Ushuaia (17 days / 16 nights) cruise on Le Soléal costs from €8,740.
Antarctica to Africa
Combining two continents aboard Le Lyrial, Ponant is offering an exceptional voyage from Antarctica to South Africa, taking in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia before heading across to the volcanic archipelago of Tristan da Cunha and South Africa’s nature reserves.
The Ushuaia – Cape Town (22 days / 21 nights) cruise on Le Lyrial costs from €5,810.
All cruises automatically include the Open Bar, while some benefit from the Ponant Bonus fare for early bookers, with savings up to 30% on the brochure price. Optional pre- and post-cruise programmes are available on all itineraries.
Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions was founded in 1988 by Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen Merchant Navy officers (www.ponant.com).