Le Champlain

Le Champlain Review and Specifications

Specifications of Le Champlain

Year built2018 new ship
BuilderVARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
Classice-strengthened expedition mega-yacht
Building costUSD 110 million (EUR 90 million)
OwnerGroupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)
OperatorCompagnie du Ponant Cruises
Speed18 kn / 33 kph / 21 mph
Length (LOA)131 m / 430 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage9900 gt
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsLe Bellot, Le Bougainville, Le Laperouse, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Surville
Christened bytba

Current itinerary of Le Champlain

Le Champlain current cruise is 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia to Valletta. Prices start from USD 3586 (double occupancy rates). The itinerary starts on 20 Sep, 2018 and ends on 27 Sep, 2018.

Date / TimePort
20 Sep      Departing from Civitavecchia, Rome, Italy   
21 Sep 12:00 - 18:00     Gaeta, Italy   
22 Sep 08:00 - 18:00     Capri Island, Italy   
23 Sep 08:00 - 15:00     Amalfi, Italy   
24 Sep 08:00 - 13:00     Palermo, Sicily, Italy   
25 Sep 08:00 - 19:00     Catania, Sicily, Italy   
26 Sep     Gozo Island, Malta   
26 Sep 14:00 - 26 Sep     Valletta, Malta(Overnight)   
27 Sep      Arriving in Valletta, Malta   

Review of Le Champlain

MS Le Champlain cruise ship (launched in 2018) is the second of all six Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) polar expedition vessels. Advertised as "expedition yacths", of the same "Explorer-class" series are also the ships Le Laperouse (2018), Le Bougainville (2019), Le Kerguelen (2019), Le Bellot (2020) and Le Surville (2020) - all named after famous French sea explorers.

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.

(Ponant) Le Champlain cruise ship

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 ships (scheduled deliveries in 2018-2019). With this deal, VARD Norway entered the cruise ship building market.

On March 6, 2018, CDP signed with VARD two additional shipbuilding orders (scheduled deliveries in 2020), which resulted in a 12-ship fleet (by the end of 2021).

Ponant Cruises new ship design

Each of the 10,000 GT new yachts has LOA length 128 m (420 ft), width 18 m (59 ft), capacity 184 pax plus 110 crew, 6 decks, 92 passenger cabins (on 4 decks), aft-located sun deck (with swimming pool) and retractable marina (for deploying water sports equipment), its own fleet of Zodiacs (large boats used for passenger tendering and landings in remote locations). The exterior design was created by the French company Stirling Design International (abbrev SDI). The yacht's interior was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel.

Cruise itinerary program

MS Le Champlain cruise itinerary program (like for the other Explorer-class yachts) offers unique itineraries to offbeat port and island destinations around the world, including Caribbean, Europe (Baltic and Mediterranean), East Asia, Australia, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean islands (Oceania), Canadian Arctic, Brazil Amazon (Orinoco River), South America and Antarctica. On each voyage, passengers enjoy professional lectures and media presentations, led by the ship's naturalists and themed on the regional wildlife and local cultures.

December through March each year, most of the CDP fleet is deployed in polar regions (Arcitc and Antarctica).


Le Champlain ship has a total of 92 elegantly designed cabins and suites. Each of the staterooms features private balcony (with luxury lounge furniture 1 table, 2 rattan chairs). All suite categories have bathrooms with sliding panel in the shower room, revealing a glass wall for unobstructed seaviews.

The largest staterooms are Owners and Grand Deluxe Suites (aft on decks 5 and 6). These are two-room accommodations with bedroom (King bed), master bathroom (Balneo bathtub, dual-sink vanity), guest bathroom, separate lounge area (double sofabed), dining area (4-seat table), private balcony (dual access).

Prestige Suites are also two-room cabins, each with 2 bathrooms (separate WC/sink, one with shower, master bathroom with bathtub), 2 dressing rooms, lounge room (double sofabed), double-width veranda.

Ponant Cruises new ship design

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Follows the complete list of Le Champlain ship's restaurants and food bars.

  • The outdoor dining area (Lido Grill, located aft on deck 3) has capacity 70 seats. This alfresco restaurant serves grilled meats, along with various salads and desserts.
  • Aft of deck 4 is the 260 m2 (2800 ft2) sized Restaurant with floor-ceiling windows and single-seating capacity. The Restaurant opens onto an outside terrace, and offers several buffet stations for breakfast and lunch.. The staff provides table service for hot meals.
  • Most diets can be catered. Special dietary requests must be made in advance.
  • At the Restaurant (aft on deck 4), breakfasts and lunches are buffet-style, while the 4-course (a la carte) dinners are waiter-served. Weather permitting, meals can be also served outdoor (on the aft-located deck terrace).
  • Afternoon Tea service is available in the Panoramic Lounge (forward on deck 6). Coffee and tea are complimentary and available 24-hours a day.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Follows the complete list of Le Champlain ship's lounges, bars, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

  • The Marina (water sports platform; offers mostly swimming; it is used only when the ship 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 CDP 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 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 an outdoor Bar) is the ship's nightclub / disco)
  • Blue Eye Lounge is located below waterline (within the hull) and features 2 giant curved porthole windows shaped as cetacean eyes. Live footage of the surrounding marine life is projected onto digital screens which 'wallpaper' the room.
  • 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).

Stairs and elevators connect all decks. The Navigation Bridge has open-bridge policy. It is available to visit throughout the day, but contingent upon weather conditions and security.

Doctor’s Office with 24-hour duty service is also available, as well as laundry services (no dry-cleaning) and Wi-Fi access (throughout). Smoking on the ship is allowed only on outdoor decks.

"Blue Eye" underwater lounge on the new Ponant yachts

World's first ever underwater cruise ship lounge was designed for Ponant's new series of 6 Explorer-class yachts. The unique venue (named "Blue Eye") features vibrating sofas and innovative sound system to capture sea acoustics.

  • The "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 ml) radius of the ship. The high-tech lounge is fitted with "body listening sofas" vibrating discreetly to allowi 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.

Le Champlain wiki

  • The shipbuilder VARD (subsidiary of the Italian company Fincantieri) constructed the vessel (hull and superstructure) at the shipyard in Tulcea Romania. Then it was towed to VARD Soviknes shipyard (Alesund Norway) for outfitting.
  • Ponant's new cruise ship series as design features ice-strengthened hull and top-notch marine expedition vessel technologies. Among those is the long-range 3D sonar "FarSounder 1000". The device is forward-looking (installed in the ship's bow) and integrated into the vessel's bridge navigation system. The sonar allows it to maneuver through icy waters, showing and mapping approaching hazards, such as icebergs or shallow coral reefs.
  • 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.
  • Le Champlain cruise sales opened in April 2016 for Brazil Amazon and Orinoco river itineraries.

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 SepDeparting 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 SepArriving in Valletta, Malta

Godspeed to the new ship!

Le Champlain - user reviews and comments

Le Champlain ship related cruise news

Le Champlain Itineraries

The below listed Le Champlain 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 Sep 20 7 days, one-way from Civitavecchia to Valletta Civitavecchia$3586
2018 Oct 04 7 days, round-trip Treasures of Sicily Valletta$4552
2018 Oct 11 7 days, round-trip Treasures of Sicily Valletta$3314
2018 Oct 18 7 days, one-way from Valletta to Marseille Valletta$3586
2018 Oct 25 7 days, one-way from Marseille to Malaga Marseille$3314
2018 Nov 01 7 days, one-way from Malaga to Santa Cruz de Tenerife Malaga$4564
2018 Nov 08 9 days, one-way from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Dakar Santa Cruz de Tenerife$5192
2018 Nov 17 8 days, one-way from Dakar to Cayenne Dakar$2086
2018 Nov 25 12 days, one-way from Cayenne to Manaus Cayenne$19605
2018 Dec 07 12 days, one-way from Manaus to Cayenne Manaus$10095
2018 Dec 19 9 days, one-way from Cayenne to Fort-de-France Cayenne$4814
2018 Dec 28 7 days, round-trip New Year in the Caribbean Fort-de-France$4800
2019 Jan 04 9 days, one-way from Fort-de-France to Colon Fort-de-France$4383
2019 Feb 17 7 days, one-way from Puntarenas to Colon Puntarenas$4226
2019 Feb 24 9 days, one-way from Colon to Fort-de-France Colon$4383
2019 Mar 05 12 days, one-way from Fort-de-France to Cayenne Fort-de-France$7930
2019 Mar 17 12 days, one-way from Cayenne to Manaus Cayenne$10005
2019 Mar 29 12 days, one-way from Manaus to Cayenne Manaus$9117
2019 Apr 10 11 days, one-way from Cayenne to Lisbon Cayenne$2764
2019 May 30 7 days, round-trip Icelandic Mosaic Reykjavik$5686
2019 Aug 08 7 days, round-trip The Icelandic Loop Reykjavik$5074
2019 Aug 15 7 days, round-trip The Icelandic Loop Reykjavik$4761
2019 Aug 22 7 days, round-trip The Icelandic Loop Reykjavik$4761
2019 Aug 29 14 days, one-way from Reykjavik to Quebec City Reykjavik$10448