Le Champlain current position
Specifications of Le Champlain
|Year built||2018 / Age: 4|
|Flag state||Wallis and Futuna|
|Builder||VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)|
|Class||PONANT EXPLORERS (ice-strengthened expedition mega-yacht)|
|Building cost||USD 150 million (EUR 136 million)|
|Speed||15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph|
|Length (LOA)||131 m / 430 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||10700 gt|
|Passengers||184 - 264|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Sister-ships||Le Bellot, Le Bougainville, Le Laperouse, Le Dumont d'Urville (Kerguelen), Le Jacques Cartier (Surville)|
|Owner||Groupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)|
|Operator||Compagnie du Ponant Cruises|
Le Champlain Itineraries
|Date||Itinerary||Departure Port||Price from|
|2022 Apr 24||8 days, one-way from London-Tilbury to Stockholm||London-Tilbury||$4283|
|2022 May 11||7 days, one-way from Copenhagen to Stockholm||Copenhagen||$6823|
|2022 May 18||7 days, one-way from Stockholm to Copenhagen||Stockholm||$6585|
|2022 Jun 18||9 days, one-way from Saint Petersburg to Copenhagen||Saint Petersburg||$9742|
|2022 Jul 05||7 days, one-way from Stockholm to Copenhagen||Stockholm||$11665|
|2022 Jul 20||8 days, one-way from Stockholm to Copenhagen||Stockholm||$7446|
|2022 Jul 30||7 days, one-way from Leith-Edinburgh to Greenock-Glasgow||Leith-Edinburgh|
|2022 Aug 20||7 days, one-way from Greenock-Glasgow to Leith-Edinburgh||Greenock-Glasgow||$4798|
|2022 Sep 07||7 days, round-trip 7 Night Brittany Between Wild Coasts and Lighthouses Cruise||Saint-Malo|
|2022 Sep 14||7 days, round-trip 7 Night Brittany Between Wild Coasts and Lighthouses Cruise||Saint-Malo|
|2022 Sep 21||7 days, round-trip 7 Night Brittany Between Wild Coasts and Lighthouses Cruise||Saint-Malo|
|2022 Sep 28||7 days, round-trip 7 Night Brittany Between Wild Coasts and Lighthouses Cruise||Saint-Malo||$3952|
|2022 Oct 05||7 days, round-trip 7 Night Brittany Between Wild Coasts and Lighthouses Cruise||Saint-Malo||$3962|
|2022 Oct 15||7 days, one-way from Lisbon to Barcelona||Lisbon||$3330|
|2022 Oct 22||8 days, one-way from Barcelona to Lisbon||Barcelona||$3800|
|2022 Oct 30||7 days, one-way from Lisbon to Barcelona||Lisbon||$4486|
|2022 Dec 09||12 days, one-way from Mahe Island to Colombo||Mahe Island||$5450|
|2022 Dec 21||8 days, one-way from Colombo to Mumbai||Colombo||$4324|
|2022 Dec 31||11 days, one-way from Mumbai to Trincomalee||Mumbai||$5435|
|2023 Jan 11||11 days, one-way from Trincomalee to Mumbai||Trincomalee||$5433|
|2023 Jan 24||8 days, one-way from Mumbai to Colombo||Mumbai||$4073|
|2023 Feb 01||12 days, one-way from Colombo to Mahe Island||Colombo||$5445|
|2023 Feb 13||8 days, round-trip 8 Night The Essential Seychelles Cruise||Mahe Island||$4144|
|2023 Feb 21||15 days, one-way from Mahe Island to Port Louis||Mahe Island||$7763|
|2023 Mar 08||15 days, one-way from Port Louis to Mahe Island||Port Louis||$8246|
|2023 Mar 23||12 days, round-trip 12 Night Secret Seychelles islands Cruise||Mahe Island|
Le Champlain Review
Review of Le Champlain
The 2018-built MS Le Champlain cruise ship is the 2nd of all six Ponant-owned polar expedition vessels. Advertised as "expedition yachts", of the same "PONANT EXPLORERS-class" series are also the sisterships Le Laperouse (2018), Le Bougainville (2019), Le Dumont d'Urville (fka Le Kerguelen) (2019), Le Bellot (2020) and Le Jacques Cartier (fka 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-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 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 shipbuilding 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).
Each of Ponant's 10,000 GT new superyachts has LOA length 131 m (430 ft), width 18 m (59 ft), capacity 184 passengers (plus 110 crew), 7 decks, 92 passenger cabins (on 4 decks), aft-located Sundeck (with swimming pool) and retractable Marina Platform (for deploying water sports equipment), its own fleet of Zodiacs (large speedboats used for passenger tendering and landings in remote locations). The exterior design was created by the French company Stirling Design International (SDI). The yacht's interior was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel.
Decks and Cabins
Ponant Le Champlain staterooms (92 total, in 9 categories) include 40 Balcony cabins (205 ft2 / 19 m2 plus 45 ft2 / 4 m2 step-out veranda). The largest is the 2-Room Owners Suite (485 ft2 / 45 m2 plus 320 ft2 / 30 m2 terrace)). Each of the staterooms features a private balcony (with luxury lounge furniture - 1 table, 2 rattan chairs) and 5-star hotel amenities, including smart HDTV, DVD-CD player, minibar, King-size bed, contemporary furniture.
All suite categories have bathrooms with a sliding panel (in the shower room) revealing a glass wall for unobstructed seaviews. The largest staterooms (Owners and Grand Deluxe Suites/aft on decks 5 and 6) are two-room accommodations with bedroom (King bed), master bathroom (Balneo bathtub, dual-sink vanity), guest bathroom, separate lounge room (double sofabed), dining area (4-seat table), private balcony (dual access). Prestige are also two-room suites, each with 2 bathrooms (separate WC/sink, one with shower, master bathroom with bathtub), 2 dressing rooms, lounge room (double sofabed), double-width veranda.
The boat has 7 decks, of which 6 passenger-accessible and 4 with cabins.
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 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 the 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 an 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 an 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 (1,6x3,4 m / 5x11 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.
These 7-deck ships also feature a resistance swimming pool (aka "infinity pool"), spacious sundeck and 3-position aft marina platform.
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 PONANT's fleet is deployed in polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica).
In mid-May 2021, A&K-Abercrombie & Kent (Illinois USA-based travel brand) announced a deal with PONANT to charter the ship Le Champlain for an Iceland Circumnavigation Expedition. The 11-day itinerary (themed as "Iceland Cruise: Circumnavigating the Land of Fire and Ice" /roundtrip from Reykjavik) was scheduled to depart on September 11, 2021. The itinerary's schedule included:
- (Sept 11) departure from Reykjavik/embarkation
- (Sept 12) Westman Islands (Surtsey Island)
- (Sept 13) Hofn - coastal cruising
- (Sept 14) Seydisfjordur-Skalanes
- (Sept 15) Husavik
- (Sept 16) Grimsey Island
- (Sept 17) Strandir Peninsula (coastal cruising)
- (Sept 18-19) Westfjords (coastal cruising)
- (Sept 20) Grundarfjordur
- (Sept 21) arrival in Reykjavik/debarkation
Prices started from USD 12000 (EUR 9820) per person with double occupancy.
Le Champlain - user reviews and comments
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Le Champlain Wiki
The shipbuilder VARD (a 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 Le Champlain vessel's hull number is 849.
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. On September 29, 2018, the cruise ship was officially delivered to Ponant.
Qatar Coastal Cruises 2020
In early-February 2021, Ponant announced a charter deal with Qatar Airways Holidays (via partnership with Discover Qatar) and the launch of "Luxury Coastal Cruise of Qatar" program custom-made for citizens and residents of the country.
The exclusive program was based on a 3-night Persian Gulf itinerary leaving roundtrip from Doha (on the time-chartered Le Champlain), coastal sightseeing and exploration activities (snorkelling at Al Ashat Island, gliding through Khor Al-Udaid channel, scenic cruising for marine and wildlife viewings/hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, dolphins, dugongs, flamingos). The shipboard and ashore enrichment programs were led by expert tour guides - marine biologists, naturalists, ornithologists.
Le Champlain ship's Qatar cruise season (late-March - April) included 6 consecutive departures out of Doha. Early bookings (made by February 28) received promo pricing from QR 4990 (USD 1370 / EUR 1140) per person with double occupancy, on an all-inclusive basis (including transfers, meals, Wi-Fi, activities).
Inaugural 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
|Date / Time||Port|
|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|
Le Champlain User Reviews
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