Compagnie du Ponant launched its Summer 2014 collection aboard its three yachts, Le Boreal, L'Austral and Le Soleal (132 staterooms & suites), and the three-masted Le Ponant (32 staterooms).
From April to October 2014, they will be cruising in the Great Arctic North and Canada, North Europe and the Baltic, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean.
Each of the luxury yachts offers suites, service, food and wine – plus their small size allows them to reach destinations that larger ships cannot. Passengers sail in the company of experts and historians as guides, and lecturers who are passionate about their subjects.
Arctic North and Canada
Spitsbergen and Iceland: Leaving from Longyearbyen, L'Austral sets sail for the iridescent ice fields of Spitsbergen where Zodiacs will take passengers as close as it is possible to be to polar landscapes, the ice floe, glaciers and icebergs. The ship then heads for Iceland on a new itinerary from Grimsey Island, along the coast and south as far as Reykjavík. On the program: the town of Akureyri, Godafoss Falls, Skálanes nature reserve in the heart of the spectacular Seydisfjördur, the village of Fáskrúdsfjördur founded by French fisherman at the end of the 19th century, and the islands of Papey and Heimaey.
Longyearbyen – Reykjavík (15 days/14 nights) – Departs June 22, 2014 – From $7,623 per person
Alaska to Kamtchatka: From Nome in Alaska, L'Austral heads for the wilderness of Kamtchatka in the Russian Far East. One of the highlights is the Valley of Geysers, 40 volcanoes in the Kronotsky Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Uzon Caldera with its contrasts and colors – from intense blue of the lake and streams, suspensions of milky sulphur and the emerald green of the algae. New for 2014 is the possibility to begin the cruise with a short stay in Seattle.
Nome – Petropavlovsk (16 days/14 nights) – Departs Sept. 16, 2014 – From $12,301 per person (direct flights included)
Northern Europe & the Baltic
From the Atlantic to the Northern Sea: Departing from Bordeaux, Le Boreal heads north. After two calls at Belle-Île-en-Mer and London, passengers will visit Amsterdam, Sylt Island in the heart of the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ecological energy-conscious city of Hamburg and Copenhagen. There will be two guests on board: Breton author-composer Louis Capart and Ukrainian pianist Dimitri Naïditch.
Bordeaux – Copenhagen (11 days/10 nights) – Departs May 12, 2014 – From $3,769 per person
Norwegian Fjords: From Copenhagen, L' Austral will be exploring along the coast of Norway, whose fjords have nearly all earned the UNESCO World Heritage site status. The Briksdal and Svartisen glaciers, the Jostedalsbreen Glacier National Park, Geiranger Fjord and the Viking islands of Giske and Godoy are all availabe on the itinerary of this cruise. In the Vega archipelago south of the Polar Circle, passengers can observe colonies of eider ducks on their way to the wild landscape of the Lofoten Islands. In Bergen and Tromsø, they will discover the two faces of Nordic architecture, where tradition meets modernity.
Copenhagen – Tromsø (10 days/nine nights) – Departs May 26, 2014 – From $5,360 per person
The Azores: Passengers on Le Boreal will begin their cruise on the main island São Miguel, before heading for Pico where vines are slowly reclaiming the slopes of the Ponta do Pico volcano. A symbolic port of call for trans-Atlantic sailors is Horta on Faial Island which has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. On Terceira Island, Angra do Heroismo boasts a military heritage (16th century) worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage site status. The last port of call in the Azores will be Santa Maria Island, where the tranquil landscape is dotted with beaches, vineyards and white villages. On the return route to Lisbon, the ship will stop at the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo.
Ponta Delgada – Lisbon (10 days/nine nights) – Departs April 25, 2014 – From $4,127 per person
Gourmet Cruise: From Lisbon to Bordeaux, Le Boreal transforms this cruise into an epicurean encounter. In a program created by French magazine Cuisine et Vins de France, passengers will be celebrating the delights of gourmet cuisine in the company of Michelin-starred Chefs and renowned Sommeliers. They include celebrity head-chef Hèléne Darroze, Jean Sulpice, Nicolas Magie, Philippe Faure-Brac and Olivier Dauga. Tastings, culinary workshops and conferences will be on the menu between calls into Porto, Viana do Castelo, Vigo, La Coruna, Bilbao, Le Verdon and Bordeaux.
Lisbon – Bordeaux (nine days/eight nights) – Departs May 4, 2014 – From $3,231 per person
Golf Cruise: Some new Spanish golf courses in Malaga, Valencia and Barcelona have been added to Le Ponant's golfing program, which includes courses on the Côte d’Azur, Corsica and Italy.
Malaga – Nice (nine days/eight nights) – Departs April 21, 2014 – From $4,119 per person
Nice – Valletta (eight days/seven nights) – Departs June 14, 2014 – From $4,553 per person
Nice – Nice (eight days/seven nights) – Departs Oct. 18, 2014 – From $4,081 per person
Musical Cruise: Le Soleal invites music-lovers to embark on this musical cruise from Venice to Athens. Directed by Alain Duault and produced in partnership with France’s Radio Classique, this festival at sea welcomes some musicians in Italy, the Olympia site and the ruins of Mycenae in Greece.
Venice – Athens (eight days/seven nights) – Departs Sept. 18, 2014 – From $3,923 per person
Jazz Cruise: For this new itinerary, Le Soleal sets sail from Istanbul to France via Dikili near the Pergamum site in Turkey, Katakolon near the Olympia site in Greece, Taomina and Palermo in Sicily, and Ajaccio in Corsiva. Aboard, Christian Morin and his quintet will perform two jazz concerts of 40’s music in a tribute to Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.
Istanbul – Marseille (eight days/seven nights) – Departs Oct. 2, 2014 – From $3,148 per person
For more information, visit en.ponant.com.