Ponant Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

Ponant Cruises cruise line logo

Ponant Cruises fleet

Review of Ponant Cruises

Ponant Cruises (ponant.com) is a French passenger shipping company (Compagnie du Ponant/CDP) founded in 1988 by former French Merchant Navy officers. All Ponant ships are megayacht-type vessels and France-flagged (in the Marshall Islands). The company specializes in premium adventure cruise travel, targeting the French-speaking source market with all-inclusive deals.

Note: This CruiseMapper page also contains information (news, updates, itinerary changes/ship deployment) of PONANT's fully-owned subsidiary Paul Gauguin Cruises (1998-founded). On July 29th, 2023, Paul Gauguin celebrated the brand's 25 Anniversary of French Polynesia operations with MS Paul Gauguin. Paul Gauguin's current CEO and General Director is Jean-Marc Mocellin.

Most of CDP's fleet is based in Antarctica (December through March). All these large superyachts offer modern amenities, premium service by highly-trained staff and crew, 5-star hotel amenities onboard. Exotic, offbeat itineraries visit popular travel destinations worldwide, including Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, South America, Australia. On the American cruising market, Ponant works in partnership with the US travel companies Abercrombie+Kent (Illinois) and Tauck (Connecticut).

Ponant's growth in passenger capacity came under the new ownership by Artemis Group (holding of the billionaire Pinault family).

CDP Compagnie du Ponant Cruises logo

Company History

Compagnie du Ponant's first ship - Le Ponant, is a 3-masted barque (1991-built sailing vessel) is still in the CDP fleet. In 1999, the company acquired the yacht Le Levant (currently MV Clio). In 2012, Le Levant was purchased by Paul Gauguin Cruises Ltd and renamed "Tere Moana". In 2004, the company purchased the luxury liner Le Diamant (currently Ocean Diamond), which was transferred to Quark Expeditions in 2012 and renamed "Ocean Diamond".

Ponant Cruises gained international attention on April 4, 2008, when in the Gulf of Aden Le Ponant yacht was seized by Somali pirates. The ship carried no passengers but all 30 crew were taken hostage and released on April 12 without incident. Following the release, the pirates were tracked to Jariban (village) by French helicopters. When the pirates tried to flee in the desert, French marine commandos and GIGN (gendarmerie) deployed from the frigate ship Jean Bart and Jeanne d'Arc moved in. The commandos captured 6 men. Local officials claimed that 3 people had died in the raid, with a further 8 wounded, which France officially denied. French troops recovered some of the ransom money paid by the shipowner. The 6 captured pirates were flown to Paris to face trial.

In 2010, CDP put into service Le Boreal, the first of 4 identical luxury ships. Followed the sister-vessels L'Austral (2011), Le Soleal (2013) and the newest (last) from this series - Le Lyrial (2015).

Initially, CDP Ponant was based in Nantes France. After 18 years, following its acquisition by CMA CGM (container shipping company), in 2006 CDP's headquarters were moved to Marseille France. In 2012, Ponant was sold to Bridgepoint Capital (European private equity investor).

In July 2015, CDP was sold to Groupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault) - a holding company owned by the French billionaire Francois Pinault (1936-born).

  • Francois Pinault is the founder and a majority shareholder of Kering (fka Pinault-Printemps-Redoute) - 1963-founded French luxury goods retail company that owns the premium retail brands Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga. The Pinault Collection includes 5000+ artworks (mainly contemporary art) displayed at Bourse de Commerce (Commodities Exchange's building in Paris City).
  • Groupe Artemis is family-controlled and includes the Switzerland-based subsidiaries/divisions Franke Group (Franke Holding AG/industrial manufacturer), Feintool Group (Feintool International Holding AG/specializing in fineblanking/metal stamping), Artemis Real Estate Group, Artemis Asset Management Group, Artemis Domaine (vineyards Chateau Latour, Chateau Grillet, Clos de Tart, Domaine d'Eugenie, Eisele Vineyard), Le Point (news magazine), Christie's (British auction house), Stade Rennes FC (football club), Ponant.
  • Statistics for 2015 showed that CDP transported over 30,000 cruise ship tourists, and predominantly to polar region destinations.

Under Bridgepoint ownership, CDP doubled its sales (up to EUR 140 million). Profits were tripled thanks to a combination of an enlarged and upgraded fleet (increased capacity by 11%), opening new sales offices (in Australia and China) and the acquisition of another sales distribution channel (TDI) in the North American market.

In July 2017, CDP confirmed its title sponsorship of the CYCA's (abbrev "Cruising Yacht Club of Australia") PSNYR event (abbrev "Ponant Sydney Noumea Yacht Race"), due to take place in 2018. The 1064 nautical mile (1225 ml / 1970 km) long Category 1 yacht race was scheduled to start in Sydney Harbour on June 2, 2018.

In late-November 2018, Ponant contracted Global Eagle Entertainment Inc (Los Angeles-based, Nasdaq-listed US company specializing in media technologies, content, and connectivity) to provide new technology, entertainment programming and television for Ponant's fleet, including the 6 newbuilds under construction. Ponant ships received the latest smart HDTVs as all vessels now have 3,6-meter TVRO (television receive-only) antennas. Global Eagle's annual media content traffic is 10,000+ terabytes, delivered to 1000+ vessels (cruise ships, ferries, commercial ships, airplanes) and 1+ billion passengers. Among the company's clients are NCL-Norwegian, DCL-Disney, Pullmantur, P&O FERRIES UK.

Company changes 2019

Since January 2019, all Ponant cruise passengers (regardless of cabin category and itinerary) enjoy free WIFI access. The complimentary service is available shipwide and during the full length of the voyage.

On August 8, 2019, Ponant officially acquired Paul Gauguin Shipping Ltd (headquartered in Bellevue, WA USA), together with its travel brand "Paul Gauguin Cruises"/PGC and the Papeete Tahiti-homeported liner MS Paul Gauguin. Following the acquisition, both companies kept their management teams, led by Navin Sawhney (Ponant USA's CEO and PG Cruises' CEO Americas) and Diane Moore (Paul Gauguin's CEO).

Company changes 2021

Since April 2021, Ponant's CEO is Herve Gastinel, while the company is owned by Francois Pinault (Artemis Group's founder and manager). Since 2022, Susan Robison is Paul Gauguin's General Manager (North American Sales and Marketing), while Liz Coleman is VP of Sales. In July 2023, Ellen McIIvaine was appointed as VP of Sales North America (USA and Canada) who succeeded Theresa Gatta.

Company changes 2023

In June, Belinda Hindmarsh was appointed as Group Deputy CEO of Global Business, who succeeded Herve Bellaiche (2013-2023). Belinda Hindmarsh previously held senior positions at Aer Lingus (Ireland's flag carrier/principal airline), Expedia Group Inc, and CWT (fka Carlson Wagonlit Travel).

On August 21st, Florence Courbiere (Pacific Beachcomber's Group CFO/representing Paul Gauguin Cruises) signed with Cédric Mercadal (French Polynesia’s Minister of Health and Prevention) the “Taote Gauguin” partnership. The agreement is for providing essential medical services and assistance to residents on the islands visited by PGC.

Company changes 2024

On April 1st, Samuel Chamberlain was appointed Ponant Americas'/USA's CEO, who succeeded Navin Sawhney. Before his PONANT job, Chamberlain served Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings Ltd (VP Business Development), Four Seasons Yachts (Joint Owner and Operator), Wheels Up, as well as the hospitality corporations Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc, and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.

Ponant-National Geographic cruises

In August 2018, Ponant and National Geographic (NatGeo) signed a 4-year partnership deal (until 2022) for over 130 NatGeo-themed expedition itineraries. NatGeo partners with Lindblad since 2004. All NatGeo-themed Ponant expedition voyages include experts and photographers engaging with passengers and presenting lectures on the itinerary's destinations and wildlife.


Ponant-Smithsonian cruises (2022-2025 Smithsonian Journeys)

Smithsonian Journeys is the travel program of the 1846-founded Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest group of museums, education and research facilities.

The unique sea travel vacations feature Ponant's high-quality cruising and the Smithsonian's enriching onboard educational experiences provided by notable experts. The sailings are themed on the region's/country's history, culture, language, environment, wildlife, cuisine.

Smithsonian Journeys schedule 2022

The Ponant-Smithsonian partnership started in 2022, with the Smithsonian Journeys-themed sailings onboard the Ponant's boats:

  • LE CHAMPLAIN (7-night "Southern Spain and Portugal" from Barcelona to Lisbon/Aug 10) - prices started from EUR 3810 pp
  • LE BOUGAINVILLE (7-night "Greek Islands" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens/Sept 1) - prices started from EUR 4870 pp
  • LE BELLOT (7-night "Great Lakes" from Toronto to Milwaukee/Sept 18) - prices started from EUR 6320 pp
  • LE PAUL GAUGUIN (8-night "French Polynesia: Tahiti, Bora Bora, and the Tuamotus" roundtrip from Papeete Tahiti/Sept 7) - prices started from EUR 4950 pp

Smithsonian Journeys schedule 2023

The partnership between Ponant Cruises and Smithsonian continued in 2023 with a new program grouping a total of 19 voyages.

  • LE BOUGAINVILLE (8-night "Arabian Coast" from Dubai to Muscat/January 6) from EUR 6610 pp
  • LE BELLOT (7-night "Panama and Costa Rica by Sea: The Natural Wonders of Central America" from Colon to Puerto Caldera/February 11) from EUR 4920 pp
  • LE LYRIAL (10-night "Antarctica: The White Continent" roundtrip from Ushuaia, with included overnight hotel in Buenos Aires and two roundtrip flights Buenos Aires-Ushuaia-Buenos Aires/February 20) from EUR 10920 pp
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (8-night "Caribbean's Windward Islands" from Vieux Fort to Bridgetown/Saint Lucia to Barbados/Feb 25) from EUR 4420 pp
  • LE LAPEROUSE (15-night "Solar Eclipse 2023: Indonesia to Australia's Kimberley" from Benoa Bali to Broome WA/April 9) from EUR 16830 pp
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Morocco to Spain’s Andalusian Coast" from Casablanca to Lisbon/April 20) from EUR 4580 pp
  • LE BOUGAINVILLE (7-night "Circumnavigation of Sicily" roundtrip from Valletta Malta/May 4) from EUR 5360 pp
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (8-night "Celtic Voyage: The Hebrides and the Irish Sea" from London to Greenock-Glasgow/May 5) from EUR 4910 pp
  • L'AUSTRAL (7-night "Arctic Norway: Glaciers, Ice Floes, and Polar Bears" roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen Island/inclusive of roundtrip flights Paris-Longyearbyen-Paris/June 4) from EUR 8940 pp
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords Voyage" from Bergen to Glasgow/June 17) from EUR 5900 pp
  • LE JACQUES-CARTIER (7-night "Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean" roundtrip from Piraeus-Athens/July 12) from EUR 4370 pp
  • LE CHAMPLAIN (8-night "Historic Cities of the Baltic Sea" from Stockholm to Copenhagen/August 10) from EUR 6960 pp
  • LE BELLOT (7-night "Iceland Voyage: Land of Fire and Ice" roundtrip from Reykjavík/August 13) from EUR 6870 pp
  • LE DUMONT-D'URVILLE (7-night "Voyage Along the Great Lakes" from Toronto to Milwaukee WI USA/August 28 & September 10) from EUR 6100 pp
  • LE LYRIAL (7-night "Dalmatian Coast and the Ionian Sea" from Athens to Venice/September 17) from EUR 4090 pp
  • LE CHAMPLAIN (8-night "Southern France and the Italian Riviera by Sea" from Barcelona to Civitavecchia-Rome/September 8) from EUR 4780 pp
  • LE BELLOT (14-night "Symphony on St Lawrence: From Quebec to the Canadian Maritimes" from Toronto to Gloucester MA USA/October 16) from EUR 10760 pp
  • LE CHAMPLAIN (7-night "Greek Islands of the Southern Aegean" roundtrip from Athens/October 22) from EUR 5220 pp

Note: Ponant-Smithsonian cruise prices are per person (with double occupancy) and inclusive of all shore excursions, activities (onboard and in each call port of the itinerary, lectures by renowned science experts) and land transfers.

Ponant cruise ships

In 2013, one of Compagnie du Ponant's ships, Le Soleal, became the 1st French commercial vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage. On August 26, 2013, Le Soleal left Kangerlussuaq in Greenland and arrived in Anadyr Russia on September 16.

Ponant Cruises ship design

One difference between Ponant and other premium passenger shipping companies is that CDP offers a more a la carte pricing. Passengers could pay extra for cocktails (unless drink packages are included), shore excursions, gratuities, Internet and other services, depending on where they buy their cruise. As the policy varies by country (UK, France, Germany, USA, Australia-NZ) it can be confusing.

Compagnie du Ponant is dedicated to "soft adventure" cruising. Half of the fleet is based in Antarctica (December through March). It offers offbeat itineraries around the world, especially in Caribbean, Mediterranean and Asia. Beyond its French customers, Ponant Cruises successfully appeals to travelers from UK and North America. In early-2014 was started a program promoting the brand in Australia and New Zealand.

Shipboard internet and network/WiFi connectivity are provided via partnership with Marlink Group (a French company specializing in maritime satellite communications). Marlink provides hybrid network solutions that combine dual C- and Ku-band VSAT connectivity (land-based equipment by Sealink International Inc), GEO and LEO satellites (L-band terminals), and high-volume LEO storage (data stored on Low Earth Orbit satellites). The network employs SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network/cloud-delivered architecture for optimizing the traffic) as well as Marlink's LTE/GSM service (Long-Term Evolution/mobile phones WiFI communication).

New ships

On March 15, 2016, a shipbuilding agreement was signed with VARD Holdings Ltd (Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri) to build four 184-passenger Explorer-class expedition ships outfitted with the latest environmental preservation maritime technologies. The agreement marked VARD company's entrance into the cruise shipbuilding sector.

On March 6, 2018, Ponant Cruises signed with VARD the shipbuilding orders for 2 more Explorer-class expedition vessels (megayachts). By the end of 2021, the company will operate a 12-ship fleet.


Each of the new 11,000 GT vessels has LOA length of 128 m (420 ft) and beam / width 18 m (59 ft). They carry 110 crew and have 92 cabins. The exterior was created by the French company Stirling Design International (SDI).

The new yachts' delivery dates were scheduled between 2018 and 2020. The first two (Le Laperouse and Le Champlain) were launched in 2018. In 2019 followed Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d'Urville, and in 2020 - Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier (ex Surville).

Ponant Cruises new ship design

The new Ponant yachts were designed and planned for top-luxury expedition voyages in Oceania, South America, Amazon's Orinoco River, Papua New Guinea, Indian Ocean, as well as in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica).

Ponant Cruises new ship design

In December 2017, Ponant contracted VARD to built an ice-breaking cruises ship. The vessel (initially named Ponant Icebreaker, then Le Commandant Charcot) was built at the shipyards in Tulcea (Romania) and Soviknes (Norway), and delivered in August 2021 Spring. Its building cost is USD 324 million (EUR 274 million)

The new ice-strengthened expedition ship has GT tonnage 30,000 tons, length 150 m (490 ft), crew 180, max capacity 270 passengers, with a total of 135 cabins (of which 68 with private patio balconies), 2 restaurants, 1 grill restaurant, spa and fitness, 16 Zodiacs (large inflatable boats), 2 onboard helicopters. The hull is ice-classed PC2. The propulsion is diesel-electric (hybrid). The onboard LNG Fuel storage is by GTT. The Azipod propulsion units are by ABB.

The hybrid vessel is LNG-powered (Wartsila Dual Fuel engines, with alternative battery power) and operates on polar cruise itineraries (Arctic and Antarctica).

Ponant Icebreaker cruise ship

On November 19, 2019, Fincantieri and Ponant signed a MoA (worth ~EUR 300 million) for design and construction of 2 new-class expedition ships (~EUR 150 million per unit), with the option for a 3rd unit (of the same design). The deal was signed by Jean Emmanuel Sauvee (Ponant's CEO) and Giuseppe Bono (Fincantieri's CEO).

Both new Ponant-owned ships were planned for deliveries in 2022, and to be operated by Paul Gauguin Cruises in the South Pacific Ocean. Both vessels will be built by Fincantieri's subsidiary VARD (Norway) and designed with GT 11.000 tons, passenger capacity 230, latest marine systems, LNG-powered (plus battery-power package).

Underwater Lounge "Blue Eye" on the new Ponant yachts

World's first-ever underwater ship lounge was designed for Ponant's new series of all six Explorer-class yachts. The unique venue (named "Blue Eye Lounge") features vibrating sofas and an innovative sound system to capture sea acoustics.


"Blue Eye Lounge" is located 2-3 m (6,5-10 ft) below water level and is integrated into the ship's hull. Underwater views are via giant curved portholes - cetacean eye-shaped windows (1,6 x 3,4 m / 5 x 11 ft). 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 km (3 mi) radius of the ship. The high-tech lounge is fitted with "body listening sofas" vibrating discreetly to allow passengers to experience the ocean rhythms. Non-intrusive underwater projectors allow observing marine life from the ship's outdoor decks and the cruise cabin balconies.

The 7-deck ships also feature a resistance swimming pool (aka "infinity pool"), spacious sundeck and 3-position aft marina platform.

NEW Solidsail ship technology by Silenseas

In early-March 2018, STX France revealed a carbon-free cruise vessel design (named Silenseas) using wind as the main power source. The new wind-power technology was trialed on the yacht Le Ponant, on which one of the existing sails was replaced and the new technology tested.

STX France's project was something never done before. The carbon-free sailship design is an alternative to the popular hybrid powered vessels. Hydrogen and fuel cells are still expensive, plus hydrogen is not available in most ports.

The technology uses the company's patented "Solidsail" concept. The sails (total size up to 1200 m2 / 12900 ft2) are mounted on masts but without any ropes or cables. The STX France design has 3 masts and 3 rigs, with masts rotating in order to adapt the sails to the wind. The new design also includes the latest hybrid propulsion technologies, combining wind with LNG, and potentially batteries, solar panels, and fuel cells.

new sailing cruise ship design (STX France Silenseas)

The sailing ship can reach speeds of 12 knots (14 mph / 22 kph) under sail in 15 knots (17 mph / 28 kph) winds. In winds over 15 knots, vessel's propellers will be used, acting as a turbine that draws power from the sails. On Caribbean Sea routes, the new technology could reduce propulsion energy by 60%.

STX France's Solidsail-ship design was developed for 3 vessel sizes, the biggest being 15,000 GT tons vessel with LOA length 190 m (620 ft) and 150 passenger staterooms. The French shipbuilding company started research in sail propulsion in 2009, Silenseas has technology patents (2009 and 2017) for the new sail. The unit is made from fibreglass, carbon and epoxy-resin panels.

Solidsail system debuted on October 31, 2018, on the yacht Le Ponant. The new Solid Sail (sized over 300 m2) was constructed at Chantiers de l'Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire) and installed in Marseille. As the three-masted Le Ponant departed from France to Cape Verde Islands, then embarked on Transatlantic crossing to Cuba, testing the new sail for 1 year.

Similar is the concept of Peace Boat's new vessel Ecoship (built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland).

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, Ponant suspended its fleet's passenger shipping operations (all vessels, including MS Paul Gauguin) by canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 15, 2020, through mid-June 2021.

Operations were planned to restart on October 27, 2020 (Mediterranean) but instead were offered French coastal mini-cruises on select ships only.

All affected bookings were fully refunded in FCC (future cruise credit), including on prepurchased packages and services.

Ponant's entire fleet (12 boats) was fully operational by May 28, 2022.

Next are listed all Ponant ships, their scheduled first departure dates (in 2021) and operational regions.

  • Le Dumont D'Urville (July 28) Iceland from Reykjavik
  • Le Champlain (July 15) Iceland from Reykjavik, Canada-Caribbean
  • Le Lyrial (June 15) Mediterranean
  • L'Austral (Nov 18) Antarctica from Ushuaia Argentina
  • Le Bellot (Aug 6) Mediterranean
  • Le Boreal (July 2) Arctic-Norway from Longyearbyen Spitzbergen
  • Le Bougainville (July 2) Mediterranean
  • Le Jacques Cartier (Aug 24) Mediterranean
  • Ponant's Australia and New Zealand program restarts in 2022 with two ships - Le Soleal (January 6, 2022) and Le Laperouse (January 7, 2022).
  • Ponant's brand Paul Gauguin Cruises ceased operations between March 15, 2020, and August 28, 2021.

In early-June, Ponant announced a "France homeporting" mini-season (July through September/mid-October) with scheduled roundtrips from the French ports Le Havre/Paris (Le Dumont d'Urville), Saint-Malo (Le Champlain, Le Jacques Cartier), Bordeaux (Le Bougainville), Marseille (L'Austral) and Villefranche-sur-Mer/Nice (Le Lyrial).

Since March 9, 2020, Ponant's WORRY-FREE BOOKING policy allowed penalty-free cancellation for any booking (fully refundable up to 90 days after confirmation). For booking any of the scheduled for 2020 itineraries, Ponant required 10% deposit and final payment due 30 days prior departure. Also fully refundable were cancellations up to 30 days prior departure.

Itinerary of Ponant Cruises

Ponant offers all-season voyages, in places that are inaccessible to larger cruise liners. The company operates in the following regions/destinations:

  • Southern Europe/Mediterranean (Italy, Corsica, Adriatic Sea, Black Sea, Aegean Sea)
  • Northern Europe/Baltic, Scandinavia, Greenland, Iceland
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Indian Ocean (Maldives)
  • Asia (Red Sea/Arabian Gulf)
  • South and Central America
  • Canada and New England USA
  • Arctic and Antarctica
  • French Polynesia - In August 2019, PONANT purchased Paul Gauguin Shipping Ltd (headquartered in Bellevue, WA USA), its brand "Paul Gauguin Cruises"/PGC and the Papeete Tahiti-based ship MS Paul Gauguin.

PONANT's PAUL GAUGUIN cruise itineraries

From the Society to the Cook Islands, passing through French Polinesya's Tahiti, Tuamotus, and Marquesas islands, PONANT's brand "Paul Gauguin" operates in the region for 20+ years. There are 5x basic itineraries and multiple activities offered complimentary - swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, snorkeling. Paul Gauguin's program also includes visiting the private island Motu Mahana (off Tahaa Island), where a traditional Polynesian barbecue is prepared. The 2019-acquired by PONANT brand has only one boat (MS Paul Gauguin) specially designed to sail in Polynesia - with a shallow draft allowing navigation as close as possible to the lagoons.

In 2021, MS Paul Gauguin completed a major renovation (2-month drydock). Following PONANT's drydocking project, the vessel is now equipped with the latest maritime technologies including for environmental preservation. Instead of HFO (heavy fuel oil/eliminated fleetwide since 2019) all PONANT-owned boats now une LS-MGO (Low-Sulphur Marine Gas Oil) - a more environmentally friendly fuel, reducing the fleet's carbon emissions by ~150%. Optimizations relating to energy and water treatment have also been carried out during Paul Gauguin's renovation.

PGC's season 2024 features 33x sailings (7x destinations) and the following new itineraries (debuting in 2024).

  • 7-night "More Society Islands & Tahiti" visits Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Tahaa/Motu Mahana.
  • 7-night "Pearls of the Society Islands" (5x in 2024/prices from EUR 2560 pp) visits Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa/Motu Mahana, Bora Bora, Moorea.
  • The 14-bight "Marquesas in Depth, Tuamotus and Society Islands" (5x in 2024/ prices from EUR 6310 pp) and the 14-night "Islands of the Marquesas & Tuamotus" both visit Fakarava, Omoa/Fatu Hiva, Atuona/Hiva Oa, Hapatoni/Tahuata, Hatiheu/Nuku Hiva, Hakahau/Ua Pou, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Tahaa/Motu Mahana.

All PGC voyages are roundtrips from Papeete and visit Motu Mahana.

In PGC's 2025 schedule (2025 Boutique Crossing Collection) were included three new itineraries visiting destinations in Oceania, Indonesia and Melanesia.

  1. 14-night "Indonesia Immersive: Singapore to Australia" itinerary (departure April 1st) starts in Singapore, visits Parai Beach Resort/Banghka Island (Sumatra Indonesia), Benoa (Bail Indonesia/overnight), Komodo Island (Indonesia, Loh Liang), Dili (Timor-Leste) and ends in Darwin (NT Australia/overnight).
  2. 16-night "Crossing Melanesia: Australia to Fiji" itinerary (departure April 15th) starts in Darwin, visits Thursday Island (Australia), Alotau and Samarai Island (Papua New Guinea), Honiara (Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands/overnight), Luganville (Espiritu Santo) and Port Vila (Efate) in Vanuatu, and ends in Lautoka (Viti Levu, Fiji).
  3. 20-night "Crossing Oceania: Fiji to Indonesia" itinerary (departure January 19th) starts from Port Vila and visits Espiritu Santo (Vanuatu), Honiara (Guadalcanal), Alotau and Samarai Island (PNG), Dili (Timor-Leste), Komodo Island, and ends in Benoa (Bali Indonesia/overnight).

Paul Gaugin 2025 voyages' prices started at US$6210 per person (with double occupancy).

PONANT Itineraries 2024-2025

In November 2022 was announced Commandant Charcot's 2024 Arctic program (5 different itineraries, 8 sailings).

  1. 10-night "Inuit Spring of Ammassalik" roundtrip from Reykjavik Iceland (3x sailings between April 16-May 6, 2024) prices from AUD 24240 pp
  2. 12-night "Inuit spring at the edge of Scoresby Sund" roundtrip from Reykjavik (May 16-28, 2024) prices from AUD 18230 pp
  3. 15-night "The Geographic North Pole. Objective: 90° North!" roundtrip from Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island (Svalbard Norway) - July 11-26, 2024, prices from AUD 52930 pp
  4. 14-night "Northeast Greenland's Unexplored Sea Ice" roundtrip from Reykjavik (2x sailings between May 28-June 11, 2024) prices from AUD 33940 pp
  5. 16-night "In the ice of the Arctic, from Greenland to Svalbard" from Reykjavik to Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen (June 25-July 11, 2024) prices from AUD 40770 pp.

In December 2022, the company launched its Northern Hemisphere Summer 2024 program. Highlights include Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. 50 new sailings opened, from the Greek islands to Ireland, Algeria, and the Canary Islands. Ponant offers 28 cruises to Mediterranean destinations and another 22 to the Atlantic and Northern Europe. 4 itineraries are brand new, including "Islands and Cities of the Mediterranean" (out of Athens).

Le Bougainville visits Greece's Paros, Hydra, Monemvasia, and Pylos, heading to Taormina prior to Valletta Malta. The new "Landscapes and Culture of the Adriatic" leaves from Venice-Marghera. Le Bougainville is heading to the Rovinj prior to Primosten, Split, Hvar, Brac Island, Brijuni, and Pula. The vessel will also visit Piran Slovenia and will then return to Venice.

Other new itineraries include "The Mediterranean: In the Footsteps of the Great Civilisations" (11-day from Valletta to Antalya aboard L’Austral) and 11-day "British Archipelagos and Celtic Shores" (from Saint-Malo to Dublin aboard Le Lyrial and Le Boreal).

From Edinburgh, Le Dumont-d’Urville and Le Bellot visit Kirkwall/Orkney Islands, then Norway's Egersund, Arendal, Oslo, Sweden's Gothenburg, and Denmark’s Copenhagen, prior to Stockholm.

In August 2023, Ponant opened for booking the scheduled for 2025 (January-February) voyages of Le Commandant Charcot (4x departures, 13-day itineraries) featuring cruising on Canada's St Lawrence River. Two voyages (Jan 17th and Feb 10th) depart from St Pierre Island (Pierre & Miquelon France) and visit Sydney NS, the Magdalen Islands, Gaspe, Sept-Iles, Saguenay River (cruising), and La Baie, ending in Quebec City. The other two are on the reverse route.

Ponant-Smithsonian cruises (Smithsonian Journeys)

Smithsonian Journeys is the travel program of the 1846-founded Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest group of museums, education and research facilities.

The unique sea travel vacations feature the Smithsonian's onboard enrichment programming provided by world-class experts. These sailings are themed on the visited by the ship region's/country's history, culture, language, environment, wildlife, cuisine.

The Ponant-Smithsonian partnership started in 2022, with the Smithsonian Journeys-themed sailings. The partnership continued in 2023 with a new program grouping a total of 19 voyages.

Ponant-Smithsonian Journeys schedule 2025

Featuring 30 new trips, this is the duo's largest offering in a single year. Drawing upon the museum's rich history, the expeditions aim to enrich the cruising experience, inspiring guests to become "global citizens" through travel. These journeys offer access to a diverse range of experts and experiences, allowing travelers to immerse themselves fully in local cultures, history, cuisine, and wildlife while enjoying luxurious accommodations.

One notable highlight is a two-week voyage from Lisbon to the Canary Islands aboard the Le Bellot cruise ship. This expedition showcases the scenic southern slopes of Iberia, the picturesque Algarve Coast of Portugal, the verdant valleys of Madeira, and the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands. Travelers can also explore world heritage sites in Seville, Spain, and Morocco, guided by Allen Fromherz, a professor of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern history. Scheduled from October 26 to November 8, prices for this voyage start at US$9,020 per person.

Another standout itinerary is a 9-day journey to Sicily aboard Ponant's Le Bougainville liner, departing from Valletta, Malta. This adventure includes visits to AgrigentoTunisiaTaorminaSyracuse, and the Aeolian Islands, offering volcano treks, winery visits, and slope-side lunches. Prices for this experience, available from June 2 to 10 and August 29 to September 6, start at US$7,420 per person.

Additionally, an 8-day cruise through the Mediterranean aboard the L'Austral liner promises memorable experiences. This voyage, starting from Valletta, Malta, and ending in Tarragona, Spain, includes stops at Sicily, Sardinia, and the Balearic Islands. Highlights range from shopping in Palermo's historic markets to exploring Cagliari's architectural wonders and Menorca's cultural landmarks. Scheduled from October 3 to 10, prices for this journey begin at USUS$5,340 per person.

In addition to the new itineraries, Ponant and Smithsonian Journeys are reintroducing popular trips from 2024, including voyages to Panama and Costa Rica, the Greek Islands, and various destinations in the Mediterranean.

Note: Ponant-Smithsonian cruise prices are per person (with double occupancy) and inclusive of all shore excursions, activities (onboard and in each call port of the itinerary), and land transfers.

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