Le Soleal Review and Specifications
Specifications of Le Soleal
|Year built||2013 / Age : 6|
|Flag state||Wallis and Futuna|
|Builder||Fincantieri (Ancona, Italy)|
|Class||ice-strengthened cruise ship|
|Building cost||USD 134 million|
|Owner||Groupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)|
|Operator||Compagnie du Ponant Cruises|
|Speed||16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph|
|Length (LOA)||142 m / 466 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||10992 gt|
|Passengers||224 - 264|
|Decks with cabins||6|
Review of Le Soleal
Launched in 2013, Le Soleal is the 3rd in a series of four identical Compagnie du Ponant cruise ships, together with L'Austral, Le Boreal and Le Lyrial. All these vessels feature ice-strengthened hulls, sleek-design superstructures, Zodiacs for ship-to-shore landing and coastal cruising itinerary routes (featuring overnight stays, long port days and late evening departures).
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.
The 10,992-ton, 264-passenger cruise ship Le Soleal was introduced on December 6, 2012. She was built in Ancona at the shipyard Fincantieri as L'Austral and Le Boreal. The first voyage of the sailing vessel started on July 1, 2013. The mega yacht was christened by Kiki Tauck Mahar. Le Soléal became famous as the first French vessel to pass through the Northwest Passage. The voyage started in Kangerlussuaq (Greenland), on August 26, 2013, and ended in Anadyr (Russia), on September 16, 2013.
Cruise itinerary program
Le Soleal itinerary program is based on cruises in Europe. The itineraries include the Mediterranean with departures from Italy, Greece, Turkey and Iceland cruises from Reykjavik, as well as the Arctic region (Northwest Passage), from Greenland to Russia.
Le Soleal has a total of 132 cabins (all of which Outside, 124 Balcony, 4 Suites) in 6 grades. Most Le Soleal staterooms are 200-sq.foot Prestige cabins (92). The largest aboard Le Soleal is the Owner’s Suite (485 ft2). All staterooms have been decorated by French designers, offer individually controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD player, twin beds, minibar, and electronic safe.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Le Soleal cruise ship is small enough and provides a truly intimate experience. This special yacht is ideally suited to visit ports of call that bigger ships cannot reach. On board, Le Soleal offers two restaurants – the casual Le Grill and the Gastronomic restaurant (the main dining room serving international and French cuisine).
Follows the complete list of Le Soleal restaurants and food bars.
- Gastronomic Restaurant (“Le Coromandel”, 268-seat, ship’s MDR; serves International upscale cuisine; offers open-seating dining, with buffet-style breakfast and lunch, the waiter served dinner)
- Grill Restaurant (“Le Rodrigues”, offers open-seating buffet breakfast and lunch, served dinner; has an outdoor seating area).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Although the company owner was bought by CMA CGM and later sold, the style of the yacht remained unchanged as it was designed. Le Soléal is a combination of French style, green technologies, computer controlled sails, luxury, and intimacy. The yacht offers state-of-the-art theatre, dance space, panoramic lounge, library and much more. Le Soleal could not be compared to any small cruising ship. The mega-yacht has 6 decks and despite its size, spacious staterooms with private balconies. There are also two lounges – the main, which serves afternoon tea and features live music, dance floor, and cocktail bar, and the panoramic, which has an internet desk, library, cocktail bar, live entertainment. Le Soleal has a pool deck bar as well as a leisure area and a Photograph shop.
Follows the complete list of Le Soleal lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.
- The Marina (water sports platform; offers mostly swimming; it is used only when Le Soleal is anchored and the sea is calm)
- Le Soleal Atrium (2-deck high open-floor area; features a chandelier with Swarovski crystals)
- Main Lounge (“Karikal Lounge”, 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 Le Soleal cruise; the outdoor aft terrace is the only one smoking area on board)
- Boutique Shop (designer clothing, luxury jewelry, Ponant logo merchandise, special occasion gifts)
- Theatre (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, Image & photo desk via a partnership with Philippe Plisson, 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 the Panoramic Bar, it is the ship’s late-night “disco”)
- Sun Deck (open-air sunbathing area, served by the“Le Comptoir” bar, with luxury loungers, padded chairs, showers, deck games - Shuffleboard, Golf Driving Net, 9-hole Mini-Golf)
- Zodiacs (inflatable boats).
Le Soleal - user reviews and comments
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Le Soleal Wiki
Le Soleal cruise ship is the third in a three yachts' series commissioned by the Compagnie du Ponant line. Her identical sisters are Le Boreal (2010), L’Austral (2011), and Le Lyrial (2015). The vessel started operations with a maiden voyage in July 2013.
The Le Soleal ship, just like her sisters, has an ice-strengthened hull, allowing it to cruise in the Antarctica and Arctic regions. Each of the Ponant's "big yachts" carries a fleet of Zodiacs for sightseeing. Compagnie du Ponant emphasizes on coastal cruising, long days in port, and late departures.
The vessel is a certified "Cleanship" (like the sisterships), featuring a modern marine propulsion system. It provides smooth and quiet navigation by creating reduced engine noise and little vibration. The modern vessel positioning system eliminates the need for the ship to anchor in order to remain stable, thus preventing contacts with seabeds in environmentally sensitive areas, such as coral reefs.
Le Soleal was the first ever France-flagged marine vessel (together with the fleet mate Le Boreal) with a Northwest Passage Cruise itinerary. The unique itinerary started on August 26, 2013, when the ship left Kangerlussuaq Greenland to arrive in Anadyr Russia on September 16. Among the ports of call along the route were Beechey Island and King William Island (Gjoa Haven). During these voyages, Ponant cruise passengers enjoyed seeing hundreds of beluga whales and narwhales, and around 60 polar bears. Charles Hedrich (French sportsman and adventurer) was also there as a special guest - being the world's first man to solo cross the Northwest Passage (in September 2009) in a rowing boat.
Le Soleal Itineraries
The below listed Le Soleal 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.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2019 Nov 01||13 days, one-way from Valparaiso to Buenos Aires||Valparaiso||$6425|
|2019 Dec 09||11 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia||Buenos Aires||$7339|
|2019 Dec 19||18 days, round-trip Christmas and New Year in Southern lands||Ushuaia||$10809|
|2020 Jan 04||11 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia||Buenos Aires||$7235|
|2020 Jan 14||11 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia||Buenos Aires||$8148|
|2020 Feb 03||17 days, round-trip Beyond the Polar Circle||Buenos Aires||$11348|
|2020 Feb 19||11 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia||Buenos Aires||$8148|
Le Soleal User Reviews
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