Le Laperouse

Le Laperouse Review and Specifications

Specifications of Le Laperouse

Year built2018 new ship
Flag state Wallis and Futuna
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 Champlain, Le Dumont d'Urville, Le Surville
Christened byMaryvonne Pinault

Review of Le Laperouse

MS Le Laperouse cruise ship (launched in 2018) is the first 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 Champlain (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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse 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 Laperouse wiki

  • On January 3, 2017 was the vessel's steel-cutting ceremony held at VARD Tulcea shipyard.
  • On December 18, 2017, the vessel was floated out in Romania, then towed to Norway. On January 25, 2018, it arrived at towed to VARD Soviknes shipyard (Alesund Norway) for final outfitting. The cruise ship was scheduled for delivery on June 15, 2018, followed by Le Champlain (October 2018). The new boat left Alesund Norway on June 16 and arrived in Reykjavik Iceland on June 19 to start the inaugural cruise. The christening ceremony was held on July 10 in Reykjavik. The naming ceremony was attended Jean Emmanuel Sauvee (Ponant's CEO) and featured live performances by Breton pipe band Bigad de Lann Bihoue (France military's only remaining professional music band).
  • Ship's godmother is Maryvonne Pinault - wife of the chairman of Artemis Group (Ponant Cruises' parent company).
  • 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 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.
  • Fun fact is that this Ponant ship's namesake is the 2009-launched "CMA CGM Laperouse". The vessel is among the world's largest container ships (capacity 13,830 containers) and owned by CMA-CGM Line.

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). The maiden voyage was a full ship charter by Tauck (US-based river cruisetour company).

7 nights / 8 days "Inaugural Cruise" (themed "Icelandic Mosaic") - prices started from $17150 pp

20 JunDeparting from Reykjavik, Iceland
21 Jun     Isafjordur, Iceland   
22 Jun     Grimsey Island, Arctic Circle, Iceland   
23 Jun     Akureyri, Iceland   
24 Jun     Seydisfjordur, Iceland   
25 Jun     Heimaey Island, Iceland   
26 Jun 08:00 - 26 Jun     Reykjavik, Iceland (Overnight)   
27 JunArriving in Reykjavik, Iceland

8 nights / 9 days inaugural Norwegian Fjords cruise - prices started from USD 4150 pp.

23 AugDeparting from Bergen, Norway
24 Aug - 14:00     Bergen, Norway   
25 Aug     Olden, Norway   
26 Aug     Vikoyri, Sognefjord, Norway   
26 Aug     Flam, Norway   
27 Aug - 28 Aug     Haugesund, Norway   
29 Aug     Egersund, Norway   
30 Aug     Goteborg, Gothenburg, Sweden   
31 AugArriving in Copenhagen, Denmark

Godspeed to the new ship!

Le Laperouse - user reviews and comments

Le Laperouse ship related cruise news

Le Laperouse Itineraries

The below listed Le Laperouse 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 29 13 days, round-trip Treasures of Seychelles Mahe Island$6339
2018 Dec 11 11 days, one-way from Mahe Island to Colombo Mahe Island$3600
2018 Dec 21 16 days, one-way from Colombo to Singapore Colombo$5287
2019 Jan 05 10 days, one-way from Singapore to Benoa Singapore$4061
2019 Jan 14 15 days, one-way from Benoa to Cairns Benoa$4930
2019 Feb 14 11 days, one-way from Auckland to Dunedin Auckland$3243
2019 Mar 11 11 days, one-way from Dunedin to Auckland Dunedin$3435
2019 Mar 20 11 days, one-way from Auckland to Dunedin Auckland$3052
2019 Mar 29 11 days, one-way from Dunedin to Auckland Dunedin$3052
2019 Apr 07 15 days, one-way from Auckland to Noumea Auckland$3896
2019 Apr 20 13 days, one-way from Noumea to Honiara Noumea$4704
2019 May 01 13 days, one-way from Honiara to Cairns Honiara$4304
2019 May 12 13 days, one-way from Cairns to Darwin Cairns$4026
2019 May 23 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Broome Darwin$7348
2019 Jun 12 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Broome Darwin$7348
2019 Jul 02 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Broome Darwin$7348
2019 Jul 22 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Broome Darwin$7348
2019 Aug 11 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Broome Darwin$7348
2019 Aug 21 12 days, one-way from Broome to Darwin Broome$7348
2019 Aug 31 12 days, one-way from Darwin to Benoa Darwin$5343
2019 Sep 11 17 days, one-way from Benoa to Hong Kong Benoa$6748
2019 Sep 27 14 days, one-way from Hong Kong to Kobe Hong Kong$5844
2019 Oct 10 9 days, one-way from Kobe to Maizuru Kobe$4502
2019 Oct 18 9 days, one-way from Maizuru to Kobe Maizuru$4502
2019 Oct 26 15 days, one-way from Kobe to Hai Phong Kobe$7115
2019 Nov 16 10 days, one-way from Phu My to Singapore Phu My$3499
2019 Nov 25 12 days, one-way from Singapore to Darwin Singapore$4824
2019 Dec 06 11 days, one-way from Darwin to Cairns Darwin$4001
2019 Dec 16 11 days, one-way from Cairns to Sydney Cairns$3580
2020 Jan 02 15 days, one-way from Hobart to Dunedin Hobart$8816
2020 Jan 15 11 days, one-way from Dunedin to Auckland Dunedin$4466
2020 Jan 24 11 days, one-way from Auckland to Dunedin Auckland$4466
2020 Feb 02 16 days, one-way from Dunedin to Christchurch Dunedin$7822
2020 Mar 12 11 days, one-way from Auckland to Dunedin Auckland$4466
2020 Mar 21 11 days, one-way from Dunedin to Auckland Dunedin$4466
2020 Mar 30 14 days, one-way from Auckland to Honiara Auckland$6784
2020 Apr 11 13 days, one-way from Honiara to Cairns Honiara$5808