Le Champlain


Cruise line
Compagnie du Ponant

Current cruise:

  Deck plans

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Le Champlain Review and Specifications

Specifications of Le Champlain

Year built 2018 new ship
Builder Vard Holdings Ltd (Singapore)
Class ice-strengthened expedition ship
Building cost USD 110 million
Owner BridgePoint Capital Group
Operator Compagnie du Ponant Cruises
Speed 18 kn / 33 kph / 21 mph
Length (LOA) 128 m / 420 ft
Beam (width) 18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage 10000 gt
Passengers 92 - 184
Crew 110
Decks 6
Cabins 92
Decks with cabins 4

Review of Le Champlain

MS Le Champlain is one of all four new-design Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) polar 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. All four new Ponant ships from this series were constructed in Singapore and scheduled for delivery between summer 2018 and summer 2019.

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.

(Ponant) Le Champlain cruise ship

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.

Ponant Cruises new ship design

Each of the new 10,000 GT ships is 128 m (420 ft) long and 18 m (59 ft) at the beam. They carry 110 crew members and have 92 cabins. The first launched is Le Laperouse (June 2018), followed by Le Champlain (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 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 head directly for Australia upon her launch, debuting in Kimberley region in mid-2018.

Le Champlain sales opened in April 2016 for Amazon and Orinoco rivers. In 2018 ship's itinerary program is based on Mediterranean cruises from Valletta, Marseille and Malaga.


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 features 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 serves grilled meats, along with various salads and desserts.
  • To the back of Deck 4, passengers 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 is 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, boast a retractable marina. 

Sitting 2 to 3 metres below the water level within the hull of the ship, the dark and cavernous Blue Eye lounge offers more than a hint of Bond villain’s lair. Guests are able to observe the underwater world via a couple of giant curved portholes (1.6 m x 3.4 m), in the shape of cetacean eye. Live footage of the surrounding marine life is projected onto digital screens which 'wallpaper' the room.

Sound, transmitted through hydrophones, is captured across a 5-kilometre radius of the cruise ship. The high-tech spot comes with “body listening sofas” which vibrate discreetly in order to promote “corporal resonance”, allowing passengers to experience the ocean rhythms. The underwater projectors, said to be non-intrusive to marine biosphere, also allow observing subaquatic organisms from ship's outside decks and balconies.

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).

Le Champlain wiki

  • The ship is named after Samuel de Champlain (1574-1635), aka "The Father of New France". He was a French soldier, navigator, explorer, cartographer and ethnologist, who in July 1608 founded in North America "New France" and Quebec City. He also made the first accurate map of the Canadian east coast.

Inaugural cruise itineraries 2018

The following tables show the ship's inaugural / maiden voyages as departure dates, itinerary ports and prices per person (in USD, double-occupancy Deluxe Cabin rates).

7 nights / 8 days "Inaugural Cruise" (Mediterranean Sea) - prices started from $3590 pp

21 Sep Departing from Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy
22 Sep      Gaeta, Italy   
23 Sep      Capri Island, Italy   
24 Sep      Amalfi, Italy   
25 Sep      Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
26 Sep      Catania, Sicily, Italy   
27 Sep      Gozo Island, Malta   
27 Sep 14:00 - 27 Sep      Valletta, Malta (Overnight)   
28 Sep Arriving in Valletta, Malta

Godspeed to the new ship!

Le Champlain related cruise news

Le Champlain Itineraries 2018

The below listed Le Champlain cruise prices on 2018 itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Compagnie du Ponant fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.

Itinerary ports
Civitavecchia cruise port

20 September 2018 7 nights / 8 days, one-way from Civitavecchia to Valletta
Prices starting
from $3586
show itinerary map
20 Sep      Departing from Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy   
22 Sep     Gaeta, Italy   
23 Sep     Capri Island, Italy   
24 Sep     Amalfi, Italy   
25 Sep     Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
26 Sep     Catania, Sicily, Italy   
27 Sep     Gozo Island, Malta   
27 Sep 14:00 - 27 Sep     Valletta, Malta (Overnight)   
28 Sep      Arriving in Valletta, Malta   
Valletta cruise port

04 October 2018 7 nights / 8 days, round-trip Treasures of Sicily
Prices starting
from $4552
show itinerary map
04 Oct      Departing from Valletta, Malta   
06 Oct     Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy   
07 Oct     Trapani, Sicily, Italy   
07 Oct 18:00 - 07 Oct     Palermo, Sicily, Italy (Overnight)   
08 Oct - 19:00     Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
09 Oct     Lipari Island, Italy   
10 Oct     Giardini-Naxos, Sicily, Italy   
11 Oct     Gozo Island, Malta   
11 Oct 14:00 - 11 Oct     Valletta, Malta (Overnight)   
12 Oct      Arriving in Valletta, Malta   
Valletta cruise port

11 October 2018 7 nights / 8 days, round-trip Treasures of Sicily
Prices starting
from $3314
show itinerary map
11 Oct      Departing from Valletta, Malta   
13 Oct     Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy   
14 Oct     Trapani, Sicily, Italy   
14 Oct 18:00 - 14 Oct     Palermo, Sicily, Italy (Overnight)   
15 Oct - 19:00     Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
16 Oct     Giardini-Naxos, Sicily, Italy   
17 Oct     Siracusa, Sicily, Italy   
18 Oct     Gozo Island, Malta   
18 Oct 14:00 - 18 Oct     Valletta, Malta (Overnight)   
19 Oct      Arriving in Valletta, Malta   
Valletta cruise port

18 October 2018 7 nights / 8 days, one-way from Valletta to Marseille
Prices starting
from $3586
show itinerary map
18 Oct      Departing from Valletta, Malta   
20 Oct     Catania, Sicily, Italy   
21 Oct     Lipari Island, Italy   
22 Oct     Salerno, Italy   
23 Oct     Bonifacio, Corsica, France   
24 Oct     Carrara, Italy   
25 Oct     Monte Carlo, Monaco   
26 Oct      Arriving in Marseille, France Riviera   
Marseille cruise port

25 October 2018 7 nights / 8 days, one-way from Marseille to Malaga
Prices starting
from $3314
show itinerary map
25 Oct      Departing from Marseille, France Riviera   
27 Oct     Barcelona, Spain   
28 Oct     Tarragona, Costa Daurada, Spain   
28 Oct 23:00 - 23:00     Valencia, Spain   
29 Oct 23:00 - 23:00     Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Island, Spain   
30 Oct 23:00 - 23:00     Altea, Spain   
31 Oct 23:00 - 23:00     Motril, Spain   
01 Nov 14:00 - 23:00     Malaga, Spain (Overnight)   
01 Nov      Arriving in Malaga, Spain