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Le Ponant

Le Ponant Review and Specifications

Specifications of Le Ponant

Year built1991  /  Age : 28
Flag state France
BuilderSFCN Shipyard (Villeneuve-la-Garenne, France)
Class3-masted motor sailing ship
Building costUSD 50 million
OwnerGroupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)
OperatorCompagnie du Ponant Cruises
Speed14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph
Length (LOA)88 m / 289 ft
Beam (width)11 m / 36 ft
Gross Tonnage1189 gt
Passengers-to-space ratio23
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2011

Current position of Le Ponant

Review of Le Ponant

Launched in 1991, the Le Ponant yacht is a charming and intimate luxury sailing cruise ship. The 64-passenger vessel is a luxury yacht managed by Compagnie du Ponant. The three-masted sail ship has 32 cabins. Built in France, the ship entered service in 1991. It was designed for French vacation travelers, as well as for North American under charter operations (cultural and expedition-style cruises).

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.

Le Ponant yacht cruise ship (Ponant Cruises)

Somali pirate attack April 4, 2008: On this date, Le Ponant sailing only with the crew was attacked by Somali pirates. All people on board were taken a hostage. The incident happened in the Gulf of Aden while the yacht was sailing from Seychelles to the Mediterranean. Despite being in pirate hands, Le Ponant was under constant surveillance by the French forces and a Canadian CH-124 helicopter from HMCS Charlottetown. Hopefully, the pirates decided to release the hostages 8 days later after a paid ransom. French helicopters did not abandon the yacht and tracked the pirates to a village. The bandits made an attempt to escape in the desert but a sniper disabled their vehicle and all 6 attackers were captured.

Cruise itinerary program

Le Ponant itinerary program is based on luxury Mediterranean cruises with departures from Nice. The itineraries offer calls at smaller ports on the French Riviera coast and Corsica.


The ship has 4 passenger decks, including a sun deck, with 32 outside staterooms (all staterooms are Oceanview, 3 triple, 29 with king size bed) in 2 grades.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Le Ponant cruise ship features two restaurants on board. Karukera Dining Room offers French cuisine. The outdoor restaurant Le Diamant (Diamond Room) is suitable for more informal meals.

Le Ponant yacht cruise ship (Ponant Cruises)

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Le Ponant is registered in France and her sails are taking 16,140 sq ft. The number of crew members (French and Filipino nationality) is 30. This unique luxury yacht has two lounges: the Emeraude Lounge (main entertainment lounge), and the Saphir Lounge (a lecture hall that provides internet computers). Other public spaces include the Sickbay and Observatory. Why choose Le Ponant for sailing? At first - because of luxury. The yacht is designed with respect to traditions and French style.

Le Ponant wiki

Le Ponant yacht is a 3-masted, commercially operated luxury cruise yacht, also available for private charters. Her passengers tend to be European (mostly French), though charter cruises through North American operators appeal to English-speaking crowd (the USA and Canada).

Le Ponant cruise ship offers intimate onboard spaces with a convivial atmosphere. Reflecting the vessel's luxury rates, service on board is superior and highly personalized. The yacht boasts a vast Sun Deck area from which guests can observe its 1500 sq.meters of sails. There is a platform above sea level for water sports.

Cuba cruise itineraries 2017-2018

Compagnie du Ponant in 2017 and 2018 will offer cruises to Cuba in the period of January through April (2017 and 2018). Operated by the Le Ponant yacht, the Cuban itineraries are themed "People-to-People Cultural Exchange". Le Ponant yacht cruises to Cuba leaving from Miami Florida, with ports of call Havana and Santiago de Cuba.

NEW Solidsail ship technology by Silenseas

In early-March 2018, STX France revealed a carbon-free cruise vessel design (named Silenseas) using wind as the main power source. The new wind-power technology was trialed on the yacht Le Ponant, on which one of the existing sails was replaced and the new technology tested.

STX France's project was something never done before. The carbon-free sailship design is an alternative to the popular hybrid powered vessels. Hydrogen and fuel cells are still expensive, plus hydrogen is not available in most ports.

The technology uses the company's patented "Solidsail" concept. The sails (total size up to 1200 m2 / 12900 ft2) are mounted on masts but without any ropes or cables. The STX France design has 3 masts and 3 rigs, with masts rotating in order to adapt the sails to the wind. The new design also includes the latest hybrid propulsion technologies, combining wind with LNG, and potentially batteries, solar panels, and fuel cells.

new sailing cruise ship design (STX France Silenseas)

The sailing ship can reach speeds of 12 knots (14 mph / 22 kph) under sail in 15 knots (17 mph / 28 kph) winds. In winds over 15 knots, vessel's propellers will be used, acting as a turbine that draws power from the sails. On Caribbean Sea routes, the new technology could reduce propulsion energy by 60%.

STX France's Solidsail-ship design was developed for 3 vessel sizes, the biggest being 15,000 GT tons vessel with LOA length 190 m (620 ft) and 150 passenger staterooms. The French shipbuilding company started research in sail propulsion in 2009, Silenseas has technology patents (2009 and 2017) for the new sail. The unit is made from fiberglass, carbon and epoxy-resin panels.

Solidsail system debuted on October 31, 2018, on the yacht Le Ponant. The new Solid Sail (sized over 300 m2) was constructed at Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire) and installed in Marseille. As the three-masted Le Ponant departed from France to Cape Verde Islands, then embarked on Transatlantic crossing to Cuba, testing the new sail for 1 year.

Similar is the concept of Peace Boat's new vessel Ecoship (built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland).

Le Ponant - user reviews and comments

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Le Ponant Itineraries

The below listed Le Ponant 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
2019 Nov 08 3 days, one-way from Marseillan to Valletta Marseillan $2195
2019 Nov 11 8 days, one-way from Valletta to Piraeus Valletta $4326
2019 Nov 14 16 days, round-trip Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica Buenos Aires $9923
2019 Nov 19 8 days, one-way from Piraeus to Antalya Piraeus $4326
2019 Nov 27 8 days, round-trip Discovering the Levant Antalya $3135
2019 Dec 05 9 days, one-way from Antalya to Aqaba Antalya $5903
2019 Dec 14 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $4595
2019 Dec 21 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $4595
2019 Dec 28 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $5321
2020 Jan 04 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $4595
2020 Jan 11 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $4595
2020 Jan 18 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $4595
2020 Feb 18 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Feb 25 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Mar 03 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Mar 10 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Mar 17 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Mar 24 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $3303
2020 Mar 31 7 days, one-way from Eilat to Aqaba Eilat $5070
2020 Mar 31 9 days, one-way from Aqaba to Antalya Aqaba $5070

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