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Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Refurbished Le Ponant reinvents travel by sea

#expeditioncruising


Freshly refurbished Le Ponant hoists sails again and reinvents travel by sea

 

PONANT's iconic three-masted sailing yacht Le Ponant, which was the founding ship where the PONANT story began, has undergone a major renovation ahead of her voyage to Australia to set sail for her inaugural Kimberley season in 2023. 

 

After several months undergoing renovation at the San Giorgio del Porto yard in Italy, the yacht offers a remarkably private setting and has been entirely updated with cutting edge eco-responsible innovations. After an exclusive collection of itineraries in the Mediterranean, Le Ponant will spend the winter in the Seychelles before arriving in Australia in April 2023. 

 

The newly imagined Le Ponant is an invitation to go sailing whilst recharging the batteries on voyages that respect the world around, where privacy and exploring with others go hand in hand with eco-responsibility.

 

When luxury and privacy combine with the magic of travel and eco-responsible navigation

Thirty years after her launch, Le Ponant has been transformed to provide guests with a unique travel experience. After undergoing a complete renovation, the ship now accommodates just 32 guests with a 1:1 passenger to crew ratio. The sleek, refined layout was designed by the Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel and Sterling Design International to create a sense of luxury, privacy and tranquillity that makes guests feel as if they are on their own private sailing yacht. 

 

The 4 passenger decks provide 16 spacious staterooms including a 60m2 Owner's Suite on the upper deck 'Zephyr' with a private balcony. The common areas have been refitted to allow guests to fully enjoy the panoramic gastronomic restaurant; to re-energise in the spa, wellness area or gym; or relax in the sun lounge area in an ambiance of quiet contemplation. 

 

In line with the company's policy, Le Ponant reflects an ongoing commitment to a more responsible tourism. The sailing ship is equipped with all the latest technologies to optimise emissions reduction: connecting to electricity grids where available in ports, using the sails, an innovative SCR filter system to eliminate fine particles and cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 90%, sorting waste and latest generation wastewater treatment. Every guest experience has been thought through to help protect the environment and heritage, such as non-motorised water sports and individual or small-group landings at ports of call with a focus on local heritage. 

 

"Le Ponant has regained her splendour and more, while setting new eco-responsible navigation standards," says Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT. "Aboard Le Ponant, the jewel in our fleet's crown, everyone can reconnect with nature and their own inspirations, as they live out their desires following the wind. We are proud to extend this invitation to travel by sea to new secluded, little-known destinations," he said. 

 

Exploring and sharing where everyone is free to go at their own pace

Uncrowded, Le Ponant offers guests the ultimate luxury invitation to enjoy authentic experiences and moments of rare privilege close to nature, under sail as the preferred mode of travel. On board, an expedition leader and naturalist guides share their unrivalled knowledge as they discover unusual treasures at sea and during ports of call. In addition to exclusive activities, on board and off, guests enjoy exquisite cuisine based on locally sourced ingredients. 

Aboard Le Ponant, every detail has been included to offer a timeless experience; a voyage that awakens the senses within a bubble of exploration at its most authentic. 

2022-23 programme of exclusive itineraries

 

After concluding its present tailor-made itineraries in Greece and Croatia, Le Ponant will spend the southern hemisphere summer in the Seychelles before embarking on the Kimberley season in Australia for winter 2023. 

 

 

KIMBERLEY ITINERARIES ON BOARD LE PONANT
"Northern Kimberley Sailing Expedition" on board Le Ponant – 9 nights or 10 nights
An immersive expedition including exploration of the spectacular 80-metre-high sandstone cliffs of the King George River Gorge and its Twin Falls, the highest in Western Australia, the chance to uncover the stories behind the enigmatic Gwion Gwion rock art and experience Prince Frederick Harbour, one of the largest and most scenic inlets of the Kimberley coast. 

 

9 and 10-night packages from 7 April to 1 October 2023.
Priced from AUD17,370* per person in a Mistral Stateroom, including 7-night sailing expedition on board Le Ponant including all meals and accommodation and shore excursions, pre and post sailing accommodation, transfers, charter flight on board Paspaley's flying boat, and Paspaley Pearl Farm experience at Kuri Bay. Find out more about the expedition. *Conditions apply.

 

"Southern Kimberley Sailing Expedition" on board Le Ponant – 9 nights or 10 nights
Discover the pristine beaches and remarkable scenery of the Buccaneer Archipelago and search for iconic bird species such as White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy kites and Ospreys. Guests will be able to watch in awe as the tidal waters flow off Montgomery reef and witness the unique tidal phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in Talbot Bay. 
 
9 and 10-night packages from 14 April to 24 September 2023.
From AUD16,860* per person in a Mistral Stateroom, including a 7-night sailing expedition on board Le Ponant including all meals and accommodation and shore excursions, pre and/or post-sailing accommodation, transfers, charter flight on board Paspaley Pearl Farm experience at Kuri Bay. *Conditions apply.

 

"Rowley Shoals Sailing Expedition" on board Le Ponant - 8 nights 
A sailing adventure to the Rowley Shoals, home to pristine coral lagoons and an abundance of marine life. Guests will discover the pristine beaches and remarkable scenery of the Buccaneer archipelago, witness the tidal waters flow off Montgomery reef and the unique tidal phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in Talbot Bay. A visit to the Lacepede Islands, an important bird area and home to Western Australia's most important breeding habitats for Green Turtles is on the radar. 

 

8-night packages from 8 and 16 September 2023.
From AUD14,170* per person in a Mistral Stateroom, including all meals and accommodation onboard Le Ponant and shore excursions and transfers. *Conditions apply. 
 
Find out more about PONANT's new Kimberley Sailing Expedition for 2023 here
 
Find Le Ponant leaflet here

 


Thursday, 1 September 2022

Ponant’s Le Jacques Cartier and APT offer Europe small ship sailings

#expeditioncruising .




New for 2023, luxury tour and cruise operator, APT announces two brand-new Small Ship Expedition Cruises in the Mediterranean aboard Ponant’s Le Jacques Cartier.

Monday, 29 August 2022

Heritage Expeditions resumes popular Sea Kayaking options

#expeditioncruising .


Pioneering small ship expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions is delighted to announce the return of its popular sea kayaking programme on select Subantarctic, Indonesia and South Pacific voyages.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

UPDATED Island Escape leaves passengers wondering

#expeditioncruising .

Island Escape in the Kimberley (Megan Rose/Facebook)

UPDATE: Island Escape arrested. All cruises cancelled.

Following a report in LATTE Luxury Travel Trade newsletter, it appears Island Escape Cruises has abandoned its Kimberley program and left passengers high and dry.

"Just received an email from Island Escapes advising us our Kimberley cruise ex Broome due to start tomorrow has been cancelled," writes one disappointed passenger on the cruise company's Facebook page. "Unable to contact anyone. No word on refund, not to mention flights from Sydney to Broome."

Attempts by both media and passengers to contact IEC have been met with silence. An automated response from IEC founder Peter Bissett reads simply: “I resigned from the company on 4 July 2022”.

Sunday, 21 August 2022

Biggest ever program of overnight Murray River cruises launched

#expeditioncruising .


  • New 2023-24 program offers biggest-ever schedule of overnight Murray River cruises
  • Longer, new-look itineraries up to 8 days and new shore experiences introduced
  • Save 15 per cent for couples. Solo surcharges halved – book by 30 September 2022
Murray River Paddlesteamers has launched its biggest-ever program of overnight cruises for 2023-24, with a new brochure showcasing, for the first time, an entire year of back-to-back cruises on the Murray and longer journeys in response to record-high demand for multi-day cruises on Australia’s longest and most famous river.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Older expedition ships falling foul of safety regulators. Vessels detained.

#expeditioncruising .


It would seem the days of the trusty older vessels may be nearing the end. As maritime regulations tighten around safety, environmental concerns and maintenance, the ships of our past are slowly disappearing from expedition itineraries.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Refurbished Polar Pioneer Heads South To Antarctica

#expeditioncruising .


Fresh from her maiden voyage to Svalbard with Secret Atlas following a major refurbishment project which focused on sustainability and upcycling, MV Polar Pioneer, the veteran ice-strengthened expedition vessel, is destined for further adventure on two wildlife and photography cruises, this time in the Southern Hemisphere; the first a 12-day Antarctica Cruise on 1st January 2024 Antarctica Explorer - 12 Day Wildlife & Photography Small Group Expedition (secretatlastravel.com), followed by a 15-day South Georgia itinerary on 24th February 2024, South Georgia Photo Tour - 15 Days of Exploration - Small Group Size (secretatlastravel.com).

On Board Expeditions: Luxury new vessel hits Tasmania’s waters

#expeditioncruising #Onboardexpeditions .


On Board | Tasmanian Expedition Cruises will launch a new custom-designed luxury vessel, Odalisque III, at the end of 2022.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Kimberley and Central Australia adventure with Silversea

#expeditioncruising .

Exclusive Savings on Ultra-Luxe Kimberley and Central Australia Adventure with Silversea in 2023
Save more than A$5000 per couple or more than A$12,000 for Solos
All-inclusive package - book by November 3, 2022
Free-spirited adventurers keen to explore Australia’s wildest wilderness but with the indulgent balm of luxury accommodation and a private butler along the way can enjoy exclusive savings on a new, ultra-luxe cruise and land tour package embracing the magnificent Kimberley, Central Australia and also Australia’s Top End.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Blessing of Lindblad's National Geographic Islander ll [video]

#expeditioncruising .

Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, Commends Lindblad Expeditions as a “Great Example of How to Use Tourism as a Vehicle for Conservation and Development”


Lindblad Expeditions celebrated the official blessing of the newest addition to their award-winning fleet, National Geographic Islander ll in Salinas, Ecuador this past weekend. Attendees included Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, and Gustavo Manrique, Minister of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, industry colleagues, local partners, and members of Lindblad’s beloved crew. The 26-suite best-in-class expedition vessel will make her inaugural Galápagos voyage on August 19, 2022, for year-round expeditions in the islands.