Le Boreal

Le Boreal Review and Specifications

Specifications of Le Boreal

Year built2010  /  Age : 8
Flag state Wallis and Futuna
BuilderFincantieri (Ancona, Italy)
Classice-strengthened cruise ship
Building costUSD 150 million
OwnerGroupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)
OperatorCompagnie du Ponant Cruises
Speed16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph
Length (LOA)142 m / 466 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage10944 gt
Passengers224 - 264
Crew139
Passengers-to-space ratio54
Decks7
Cabins132
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2016

Review of Le Boreal

Launched in 2010, Le Boreal is the 1st in a series of four identical Compagnie du Ponant cruise ships, together with L'AustralLe Soleal and Le Lyrial. All these vessels feature ice-strengthened hulls, sleek-design superstructures, Zodiacs for ship-to-shore landing and coastal cruising itinerary routes (featuring overnight stays, long port days and late evening departures).

History - construction and ownership

Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) is a French cruise shipping company founded in April 1988 by former French Merchant Navy officers. All Ponant ships are France-flagged. The company specializes in premium adventure cruise travel targeting the French-speaking source market with all-inclusive deals. Most of CDP's fleet is based in Antarctica (December through March). All these mega-yachts offer modern amenities, premium service by highly-traned 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.

The 10,944-ton, 264-passenger cruise ship Le Boreal was launched in May 2010 and impresses with elegance, personality, eco-friendly technologies and high standards. The sailing vessel was planned for the French market and looks more like a big private yacht rather than a cruise ship. Le Boreal was pronounced "Best New ship of the Year " in 2010. The reward was received from the European Cruiser Association. This impressive mega-yacht was designed with 132 cabins and was constructed in the Italian shipyard Fincantieri. On board guests could enjoy luxury of the French style created by Jean-Philippe Nuel.

MS Le Boreal cruise ship (Ponant Cruises)

On November 18, 2015 an engine fire on Ponant luxury cruise yacht Le Boreal caused hundreds of travelers to be evacuated while the vessel was sailing on an Antarctica cruise. The 264-passenger cruise ship issued a distress call just after 2 a.m. while close to Cape Dolphin, north of the Falkland Islands. 90 of the ship's 347 passengers and crew were air lifted to safety from life rafts, while the rest were transferred to another ship. The Falkland Island Government Emergency Services responded to the fire, in collaboration with local vessel agents and British Forces South Atlantic Islands Emergency Services. HMS Clyde changed course in order to help the evacuation. No one was injured in the incident. The ship had just started a 15-night round trip Antarctica sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina, on November 15. The cruise was supposed to visit South Georgia before landing on the continent's peninsula and visiting Deception Island. The remainder of the cruise has been canceled. 

After the engine room fire in November 2015, Le Boreal was back in service on May 24, 2016. Ponant's 264-passenger yacht had been undergoing repairs at Fincantieri shipyard in Genoa, following a blaze that broke out while the vessel was sailing off the Falklands. Ponant originally hoped its ship would resume sailings from Lisbon on May 9. However, a company statement noted that Le Boreal would sail from Glasgow later in the month. Ponant has carried out other work on the ship in addition to repairing the fire damage, and given it up some updates.

Cruise itinerary program

Le Boreal itinerary program is based on cruises in Northern Europe, including Iceland and the Baltic Sea region. The ship also sails in Alaska and Greenland.

Cabins

Most Le Boreal staterooms are 200-sq.foot Prestige cabins (92). There are a total of 132 staterooms in 9 categories. The largest aboard Le Boreal is the Owner’s Suite (485 ft2). All staterooms have been decorated by French designers, offer individually controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD player, twin beds, minibar and electronic safe.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Le Boreal cruise ship is small enough and provides a truly intimate experience. This special yacht is ideally suited to visit ports of call that bigger ships cannot reach. On board, Le Boreal offers two restaurants – the casual Le Grill and the Gastronomic restaurant (the main dining room serving international and French cuisine). 

Follows the complete list of Le Boreal restaurants and food bars.

  • Gastronomic Restaurant (“Le Coromandel”, 268-seat, ship’s MDR; serves International upscale cuisine; offers open-seating dining, with buffet-style breakfast and lunch, waiter served dinner)
  • Grill Restaurant (“Le Rodrigues”, offers open-seating buffet breakfast and lunch, served dinner; has an outdoor seating area).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Le Boreal is the first all-balcony vessel sailing in Antarctica. She also boasts al fresco dining, entertainment Le Club lounge, a casino, a theatre for film screenings and lectures, a library and internet lounge. Le Boreal has a spa, fitness center, outdoor heated swimming pool, full-service salon. The ship is equipped with Zodiacs and outfitted with advanced stabilizing system for minimizing the effects of rough seas and keeping guests comfortable in remote areas. This ship creates an unique atmosphere of well-being and intimacy.

MS Le Boreal cruise ship (Ponant Cruises)

Follows the complete list of Le Boreal 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 Boreal is anchored and the sea is calm)
  • Le Boreal Atrium (2-deck high open-floor area; features a chandelier with Swarovski crystals)
  • Main Lounge (“Karikal Lounge”, 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 Boreal cruise; the outdoor aft terrace is the only one smoking area on board)
  • Boutique Shop (esigner clothing, luxury jewelry, Ponant logo merchandise, special occasion gifts)
  • Theatre (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, Image & photo desk via partnership with Philippe Plisson, and Internet stations)
  • Image and Photo Desk
  • Swimming pool’s sunbathing area (with luxury loungers)
  • Panoramic Lounge and 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, served by the“Le Comptoir”bar, with luxury loungers, padded chairs, showers, deck games - Shuffleboard, Golf Driving Net, 9-hole Mini-Golf)
  • Zodiacs (inflatable boats).

Le Boreal wiki

  • Le Boreal cruise ship is the first in a three yachts' series commissioned by Compagnie du Ponant. Her identical sisters are L’Austral (2011), Le Soleal (2013) and Le Lyrial (2015).
  • Compagnie du Ponant is originally French-owned, aimed exclusively at the French cruising market. The whole ambience on board Le Boreal is French and chic. Black-and-white photo art of Philip Plisson lines the corridors, glittering Swarovski crystals light up the atrium. The passengers are well-heeled and experienced.
  • Le Boreal ship differs from other luxury cruise vessels with adventurous itineraries. The three sisters are with ice-strengthened hulls, and can sail to the Arctic and Antarctica, each of carrying a fleet of Zodiacs for sightseeing. The Ponant line emphasizes on coastal cruising, with long port days and late departures.
  • The vessel is a certified "Cleanship" (like the sisterships), featuring a modern marine propulsion system. It provides smooth and quiet navigation by creating reduced engine noise and little vibration. The modern vessel positioning system eliminates the need for the ship to anchor in order to remain stable, thus preventing contacts with seabeds in environmentally sensitive areas, such as coral reefs.
  • Fun fact is, that the Le Boreal yacht was used in the 3rd episode of the "Mighty Ships" TV series (season 5) and was shown taking tourists to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.
  • Le Boreal was the first France-flagged marine vessel (together with Le Soleal) with a Northwest Passage Cruise. The unique itinerary started on August 26, 2013, when the ship left Kangerlussuaq Greenland to arrive in Anadyr Russia (Siberia) on September 16. Among the ports of call along the route were Beechey Island and King William Island (Gjoa Haven). During these voyages, Ponant cruise passengers enjoyed seeing hundreds of beluga whales and narwhales, and around 60 polar bears. Charles Hedrich (French sportsman and adventurer) was also there as special guest - being the world's first man to solo cross the Northwest Passage (in September 2009) in a rowing boat.
  • For 2019, the US-based travel company Tauck chartered the ship for “Arctic Allure - Spitsbergen and the Midnight Sun” cruise. The 10-day itinerary (departure date June 24) includes pre-cruise hotel in Oslo, follows charter flight to Spitsbergen island (Longyearbyen) for embarkation on Le Boreal for 7-day cruise around Spitsbergen. fares started from USD 11,000, inclusive of international airfare, overnight in Oslo, roundtrip flights to Longyearbyen, 7-day Le Boreal cruise, all shore excursions, gratuities, unlimited drinks (including liquor, beer, house wine), onboard meals, port charges, Gov taxes, luggage handling.

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Le Boreal Itineraries

The below listed Le Boreal cruise prices on 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.

DateCruise NameDeparture PortPrice from
2018 Nov 18 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$6696
2018 Nov 24 11 days, one-way from Valparaiso to Ushuaia Valparaiso$3661
2018 Dec 14 15 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Drake Passage Ushuaia$12226
2018 Dec 29 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$7365
2019 Jan 17 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$7870
2019 Feb 06 17 days, round-trip Beyond the Polar Circle Ushuaia$13130
2019 Feb 22 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$6696
2019 Mar 04 14 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso Buenos Aires$4722
2019 Mar 17 13 days, one-way from Valparaiso to Guayaquil Valparaiso$3330
2019 Mar 29 12 days, one-way from Guayaquil to Panama City Guayaquil$3904
2019 Apr 11 11 days, one-way from Colon to Miami Colon$3452
2019 Apr 22 14 days, one-way from Miami to Lisbon Miami$2139
2019 May 14 8 days, one-way from London Greenwich to Bergen London Greenwich$3307
2019 Jul 02 7 days, round-trip The Best of Spitsbergen Longyearbyen$6876
2019 Jul 29 7 days, round-trip The Icelandic Loop Reykjavik$3130
2019 Aug 05 10 days, one-way from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq Reykjavik$5339
2019 Aug 15 13 days, round-trip Baffin Bay secrets Paris$9078
2019 Sep 18 14 days, one-way from Nome to Seward Nome$9220
2019 Oct 10 16 days, one-way from Honolulu to Papeete Honolulu$3980
2019 Oct 25 11 days, round-trip Treasures of Polynesia Papeete$3368
2019 Nov 03 15 days, one-way from Papeete to Easter Island Papeete$3447
2019 Nov 16 10 days, one-way from Easter Island to Ushuaia Easter Island$1295
2019 Nov 24 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$7626
2019 Dec 14 16 days, round-trip Christmas in Antarctica Buenos Aires$10390
2019 Dec 14 17 days, round-trip Christmas in Antarctica Ushuaia$9035
2019 Dec 29 11 days, round-trip New Year's Day & the Magic of the White Continent Buenos Aires$9009
2019 Dec 29 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$8417
2020 Jan 08 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$8991
2020 Jan 27 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$7304
2020 Feb 03 18 days, round-trip Beyond the Polar Circle Ushuaia$11348
2020 Feb 06 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$7304
2020 Feb 26 11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica Buenos Aires$6852
2020 Mar 07 14 days, one-way from Ushuaia to Valparaiso Ushuaia$4890
2020 Apr 01 14 days, one-way from Guayaquil to Colon Guayaquil$4173
2020 Apr 14 11 days, one-way from Colon to Miami Colon$3272
2020 Apr 25 14 days, one-way from Miami to Lisbon Miami$2152