PONANT, the leader in luxury expeditions and the only cruise line carrying the French Flag, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year by doing what it does best: exciting small-ship itineraries to remote corners of the earth, from the Arctic to Antarctica and from Africa to Asia. Plans to expand the PONANT fleet to 12 ships by 2021 are well underway and travelers can book now for a new series of experience-filled cruises called the Quintessential Collection to be led by top experts starting in May 2019. Here is PONANT’s latest intelligence on what is trending in cruise travel now and how the company is taking the lead.
Marking a Milestone: To celebrate three decades of polar exploration, PONANT is offering 25 sailings to Antarctica in 2018 and 2019, more than any other expedition line. Founded in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers of the French Merchant Navy, PONANT combines exceptional itineraries with luxurious small ships. In an age when oversized ships are the norm, PONANT has made a strategic decision throughout its history to remain committed to small-ship cruising with all the intimacy and authenticity that it allows. PONANT continues to reach remote areas that larger ships can never venture including ports in Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and even the North West passage.
Powering toward the Future: PONANT has announced plans to expand its fleet to 12 ships with 2,000 crew members and 460 departures by 2021. Two new ships will be added to PONANT’s Explorer series in 2020, Le Bellot and Le Surville, combining the ambiance of a yacht with state-of-the-art ship technology. They will join sister PONANT EXPLORERS ships Le Laperouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville, launching in 2018 and 2019 and featuring unique underwater bars with windows for viewing colorful sea life.
What’s Trending Now: Sustainability is a top priority as PONANT grows. The fleet features the Bureau Veritas “Clean Ship” label for sustainability, and the ships are equipped with innovative technology including advanced sonar tracking of icebergs and methods to halt the ship without dropping anchor designed in order to protect the ocean floor. PONANT recently announced the 2021 launch of the first electric hybrid cruise icebreaker with LNG propulsion to feature signature luxury appointments, yet another pioneering development in polar exploration.
Where to Go Next in 2019: PONANT has announced exciting new itineraries for 2019 that cover the world including the new “Quintessential Collection,” a series of themed cruises designed to inspire travelers to dig deeper into the essence and culture of destinations. Key to the experiences are dynamic speakers such as Holly Shimizu, a former host of Victory Gardens on PBS who will bring to life Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites, from May 14-22, 2019. Other Quintessential Collection cruises will explore wine and cuisine in Sicily with food and travel writer Mary Taylor Simeti, world affairs in Greece, World War II history from China to Japan, and more.
The world leader in luxury expeditions and the only French-owned cruise line, PONANT is powering into the future with a unique concept of sea travel that defies the “bigger is better” philosophy and combines exceptional itineraries with luxury hotel services aboard exquisitely appointed smaller-scale ships. www.ponant.com
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