Le Champlain Review and Specifications
Specifications of Le Champlain
|Builder||VARD HOLDINGS LTD.|
|Length (LOA)||128 m / 420 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||10000 gt|
|Passengers||92 - 184|
|Decks with cabins||4|
Review of Le Champlain
MS Le Champlain is one of all four new-design Compagnie du Ponant expedition cruise ships. Advertised as "expedition yacths", of the same "Explorer-class" are also the ships Le Bougainville, Le Kerguelen, and Le Laperouse - all named after the most famous French sea explorers. Each of the new yachts has max capacity of 184 passengers. The new vessels will join the company's fleet between summer 2018 and summer 2019.
The Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri also built the Ponant's L'Austal, Le Boreal, Le Lyrial and Le Soleal, delivered between 2010 and 2015. The cruise line's growth in capacity comes under the new ownership by Artemis, a holding company of the billionaire Pinault family.
History - construction & ownership
Compagnie du Ponant (CDP is a French cruise ship operator. Ponant company was founded by Jean-Emmanuel Sauvé, Philippe Videau, and other officers of the French Merchant Navy in April 1988 and launched the first French cruise ship. CDP currently operates five ships, all of which under the French flag. Compagnie du Ponant is dedicated to soft adventure cruising. Half of its fleet is based in Antarctica from December to March. It offers offbeat itineraries around the whole world, especially in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Asia.
On March 15, 2016 an agreement was reached with the Norwegian subsidiary of Fincantieri, Vard Holdings Ltd., to build four 184-guest exploration cruise ships outfitted with environmental preservation technology for Ponant. The agreement marked the entrance of Vard into cruise shipbuilding sector.
Each of the new 10,000 GT ships will be 128 m (420 ft) long and 18 m (59 ft) at the beam. They will carry 110 crew members and have 92 cabins. The first to be launched is Le Laperouse (June 2018), followed by Le Champlain (scheduled for September 2018).
Cruise itinerary program
The new Ponant vessels are planned for high-end expedition voyages in Oceania, South America, Amazon's Orinoco River, Papua New Guinea, Costa Rica and the Indian Ocean. They will introduce passengers to regional wildlife and local cultures, with the help of onboard naturalists.
A number of exciting features are on the way to Australian waters onboard the four brand new small ships. One of these four yachts will head directly for Australia upon her launch, debuting in Kimberley region in mid-2018.
Le Champlain boasts just 92 elegantly designed cabins and suites. The spacious suite accommodations (19-45 m2 / 205-484 ft2) feature large windows, and lounge areas which open onto the outside, offering unique cruising experience.
Dining options - Food & Drinks
As an essential part of the culture of France, gastronomy will feature pride of place aboard the new ship. Through its 2 restaurants, Le Champlain invites guests on a journey to epicureanism.
Follows the complete list of Le Champlain restaurants and food bars.
- The first dining area, situated on Deck 3, offers a relaxed atmosphere and is able to seat 70. The restaurant will serve grilled meats, along with various salads and desserts.
- To the back of Deck 4, passengers will find a 260 m2 (2800 ft2) panoramic restaurant, able to accommodate all passengers in single sitting. Designed in a different way to that on the other Ponant ships, this dining area, opening onto the outside, has a buffet of salads, cheeses and desserts at guests' disposal. The attentive crew provides table service for hot meals.
Entertainment options - Fun & Sport
The exterior of the newest Ponant ships will be created by Sterling Design International, with interiors designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, who plans to give natural "ethnic chic" looks to the newbuilds inspired by earthy materials. Among new features, the 131-meter long ships, all of which are ice-class-certified, will feature a retractable marina.
Follows the complete list of Le Champlain lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- The Marina (water sports platform; offers mostly swimming; it is used only when Le Champlain is anchored and the sea is calm)
- Le Champlain Atrium (2-deck high open-floor area; features a chandelier with Swarovski crystals)
- Main Lounge (200 m2 /2153 ft2, with large-size LED screen and floor-ceiling windows; offers early breakfast, specialty teas and coffees, Afternoon Tea complemented with gourmet cookies and fine chocolates; evening entertainment features live performances by resident singer and pianist and an art auction, once per Le Champlain cruise; the outdoor aft terrace is the only one smoking area on board)
- Boutique Shop (40 m2 /430 ft2, designer clothing, luxury jewelry, Ponant logo merchandise, special occasion gifts)
- Theatre (188-seat main show lounge for music and dance shows)
- Wellness Centre (Spa, Balneo Room, Hammam, Massage Room, Beauty Corner, Hair Salon, Shower Room, Relaxation Room, a spacious terrace)
- The Fitness (gym room with panoramic windows)
- Leisure Area (has a small kids playroom, Photo Gallery and Internet stations)
- Image & Photo Desk
- Swimming pool’s sunbathing area (with luxury loungers)
- Panoramic Lounge & Bar (with an Internet corner, grand piano, Library, “Panoramic Terrace” - served by the Panoramic Bar, it is the ship’s late-night “disco”)
- Sun Deck (open-air sunbathing area, with bar, luxury loungers, padded chairs, showers, deck games - Shuffleboard, Golf Driving Net, 9-hole Mini-Golf)
- Zodiacs (inflatable boats).