Friday, 15 February 2013

Ponant's Asian Collection

Boutique French cruise line and five-star expedition specialist Compagnie du Ponant has just opened bookings for its brand new Asian Collection itineraries for the winter season 2013-14. From modern empires to ancient kingdoms, passengers are invited to discover Asia’s treasures and explore the diversity of a mysterious and captivating continent.

For the first time, Le Soléal (132 staterooms and suites), the latest addition to the fleet this July, will be sailing for Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives. During the cruise, Ponant invites passengers to discover Asia in a more intimate way: mooring as close as possible to the shore to grant unrivalled access to protected sites whilst offering first rate comfort, elegance and 5-star service. Guests onboard will include experts, historians and lecturers ready to share their passion with the passengers.

A comprehensive programme of shore excursions will include some of the world most outstanding UNESCO World Heritage sites, and all 17 Asian itineraries promise to offer much more than a cruise: a genuine travel experience. Sample cruises include:

JAPAN 
Leaving Otaru, Le Soléal sets out to discover Japan’s kaleidoscope of traditions, beliefs and way of life. From Kanazawa to Hiroshima via Busan, the 8-day cruise ends in Osaka, the new beating heart of Japan. Departure, October 15, from £1,882 per person. 

VIETNAM
The 12-day Hong Kong-Singapore cruise takes in the most important sites and exceptional landscapes of Vietnam, with excursions including a junk boat trip to the heart of the majestic and mysterious Ha Long Bay, the discovery of Hanoi, Saigon and the Imperial City of Hue, or sailing down the Cai River. Pre and post-cruise excursions are on offer for those who want to explore Hong Kong and Singapore. Departure October 30, from £3,298 per person. 

INDONESIA
Bali, Gili Islands, Komodo, Brunei and Borneo...this 14-day cruise ventures into the very heart of Indonesia, from wild Sarawak to Sandankan, home of large congresses of orangutans, traditional villages and the cosmopolitan port of Makassar. Departure January 4, 2014, from £3,081 per person.

MYANMAR & SRI LANKA 
Departing on a 9-day voyage from Kuala Lumpur to Colombo via Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar, Le Soléal calls at Penang (first British trading post in the Far East in the 19th century), Phuket, Trincomalee and Hambantota, on a cruise rich in discovery. The itinerary exceptionally includes four days in Yangon to explore the Shwedagon Pagoda, Bagan temples, Mandalay, the cultural capital, and the former royal city of Amarapura. Departure March 14, 2014, from £3,036 per person.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line Ltd, the UK's luxury cruise specialists.