Le Jacques Cartier

Former name: Le Surville

Le Jacques Cartier current position

Le Jacques Cartier current location is at Aegean Sea (coordinates 37.35934 N / 23.46542 E) cruising en route to DYNAMIC POSITIONING. The AIS position was reported 1 minute ago.

All Itineraries Current Position

Specifications of Le Jacques Cartier

Year built2021  /  Age: 1
Flag state Wallis and Futuna
BuilderVARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway)
ClassPONANT EXPLORERS (ice-strengthened expedition mega-yacht)
Building costUSD 150 million (EUR 136 million)
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)131 m / 430 ft
Beam (width)18 m / 59 ft
Gross Tonnage10700 gt
Passengers184 - 264
Decks with cabins4
Sister-shipsLe Bellot, Le Bougainville, Le Champlain, Le Laperouse, Le Dumont d'Urville (Kerguelen)
Former namesLe Surville
Christened bytba
OwnerGroupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)
OperatorCompagnie du Ponant Cruises

Le Jacques Cartier Itineraries

DateItineraryDeparture PortPrice from
2022 Jul 26 7 days, round-trip 7 Night At the Heart of the Greek Islands Cruise Piraeus-Athens $5850
2022 Aug 02 7 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Istanbul Piraeus-Athens
2022 Aug 17 9 days, one-way from Istanbul to Venice Istanbul $6840
2022 Aug 26 7 days, round-trip 7 Night The Best of Croatia Cruise Venice $5270
2022 Sep 02 7 days, round-trip 7 Night The Best of Croatia Cruise Venice
2022 Sep 30 6 days, one-way from Piraeus-Athens to Valletta Piraeus-Athens $5570
2022 Oct 07 7 days, one-way from Valletta to Villefranche-sur-Mer Valletta $4750
2022 Oct 14 7 days, one-way from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Valletta Villefranche-sur-Mer
2022 Oct 21 7 days, one-way from Valletta to Villefranche-sur-Mer Valletta
2022 Oct 28 7 days, one-way from Villefranche-sur-Mer to Valletta Villefranche-sur-Mer
2022 Nov 16 13 days, one-way from Valletta to Aqaba Valletta
2022 Dec 02 8 days, round-trip 8 Night The Essential Seychelles Cruise Mahe Island
2022 Dec 10 12 days, round-trip 12 Night Secret Seychelles islands Cruise Mahe Island
2022 Dec 20 9 days, one-way from Doha Qatar to Mahe Island Doha Qatar $2350
2022 Dec 29 13 days, round-trip 13 Night The Seychelles and Aldabra Atoll Cruise Mahe Island $10250
2023 Jan 11 8 days, round-trip 8 Night The Essential Seychelles Cruise Mahe Island $5120

Le Jacques Cartier Review

Review of Le Jacques Cartier

The 2020-built/2021-inaugurated MS Le Jacques Cartier cruise ship (initially named "Le Surville") is the 6th/last in a six-ship series Ponant-owned polar expedition vessels. Advertised as "expedition yachts", of the same "PONANT EXPLORERS-class" series are also the sisterships Le Champlain (2018), Le Laperouse (2018), Le Bougainville (2019), Le Dumont d'Urville (fka Le Kerguelen) (2019) and Le Bellot (2020) - all named after famous French sea explorers.

The vessel (IMO number 9852420) is currently France-flagged (MMSI 578001400) and registered in Mata-Utu/Wallis and Futuna.

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.

(Ponant) Le Jacques Cartier 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 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).

Ponant Cruises new ship design

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 Jacques Cartier 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 Jacques Cartier 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.

Ponant Cruises new ship design

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Follows the complete list of Le Jacques Cartier 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 Jacques Cartier 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 (Infirmary) 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.

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


MS Le Jacques Cartier 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 (Arctic and Antarctica).

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The shipbuilder VARD (a subsidiary of 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 Surville vessel's hull number is 890.

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.

(Ponant) Le Jacques Cartier cruise ship

Fun fact is that Ponant's Jacques Cartier was initially named "Le Surville" (when the shipbuilding order was placed and also during the "Romanian" stages of vessel's construction). Its name honors the Frech explorer Jakez Karter (1491-1557) who claimed for France current-day Canada (back then named Canadas/French colony within New France). In 1534, he became the first European to map St Lawrence River and the Gulf. The vessel was officially delivered from the shipbuilder on July 10, 2020, as the 6th (and last) in the company's Explorer-Class series. The special ceremony was attended by Ponant's CEO Emmanuel Sauvee.

Ponant ship's namesake is the 1924-built (2017 refitted and refurbished) and Canada-flagged cruise ship MS Jacques Cartier. The 68-passenger boat is owned by the Canadian company "Croisieres MS Jacques-Cartier") and often chartered by the French river cruisetour company CroisiEurope.

Unlike most vessels owned by Ponant, Le Jacques Cartier is flagged (registered in) Wallis and Futuna (MMSI number 578001400). Also unique for this boat is that it has a hidden artwork by the French graffiti artist Shuck One (1970-born in Pointe-a-Pitre, Grande-Terre Island Guadeloupe). During the ship's construction, he made a graffiti on the hull steel. When the ship was completed, this artwork was covered up (remained inside the hull) and can be viewed only via a round-shaped porthole window.


World Affairs Cruise 2021

In late-January 2021, Ponant announced the "World Affairs Cruise" on Le Jacques Cartier. The 8-night Baltic Sea voyage was scheduled to depart on July 17, 2021, from Stockholm Sweden and end in Copenhagen Denmark. The itinerary was part of Ponant's "Quintessential Collection" of themed cruises that strongly focus on the destination/region and theme.

The World Affairs Voyage's planned shipboard activities included professional lectures and discussions by policymakers and experts on the current USA relations with the rest of the world. Participants included Robin B. Wright (1948-born American author, journalist, foreign affairs analyst), Douglas Lute (1952-born, 2010-retired lieutenant general, USA's Ambassador to NATO in 2013-2017), Jane Holl Lute (1956-born American diplomat, security analyst, special advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security in 2009-2013).

The "World Affairs Voyage" 2021 visits 6 countries including the largest ports and cities of Finland (Helsinki), Russia (Sankt Petersburg /overnight/2 full days) and Estonia (Tallinn). The cruise starts in Stockholm Sweden and ends in Copenhagen Denmark.

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