The secret is out and the rush is on to book expedition cruise travel. These smaller ships that ply the most remote and exotic reaches of the world are the latest darlings of experienced travelers who already have a lot of check marks on their bucket lists.
By: Lynn Elmhirst
Ponant Expedition Cruise Travels in Style – French Style
But if you thought expedition cruising has to mean roughing it, think again: Ponant Cultural Cruises and Expeditions helps you both ‘collect ports’ AND do it in style. French style, bien sur.
VIDEO: Cruise and Travel Lifestyles’ Vanessa Lee and Ship2Shore.TV’s Lynn Elmhirst Tour the French cruise Compagnie du Ponant’s yacht Boreal in port in Montreal.
This French cruise company takes the essence of private luxury yachting to the four corners of the earth. Berthing in ports only accessible to small capacity ships, Le Ponant (32 staterooms, see videos), Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and new 2015 ship Le Lyrial (122 to 132 staterooms and suites) explore the Poles, North Europe, Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Asia and Oceania on cruises ranging from quickie three nights for time-pressed luxury travelers, to 21 nights for those who have all the time in the world to explore.
Ponant’s 2015 addition to its luxury expedition cruise fleet, Le Lyrial, is larger than its 4 sister Ponant ships
You might be more familiar with the mega cruise ship paradigm that sees a ship repeating a week-long itinerary every week throughout the season. Ponant, with its jewel-box ships, operates ‘cruise-circuits’ traveling from port to port to port in different parts of the world. From five-star Expeditions to themed cruises (music, gastronomy, golf, lifestyle…) offering a wealth of fascinating shore excursion programs, every voyage is a unique – and exceptional- experience.
This type of cruise travel also means planning ahead to see where the ships will be during your planned holiday time or how many months from now one of the Ponant ships will be making its circuit through a region that intrigues you. But a luxury expedition/ cultural cruise will be the vacation of a lifetime, so having months to research and dream about the experience would only heighten my anticipation!