Monday, 9 September 2013

Summer Sizzlers From Ponant

Leading French cruise line and five-star expedition specialist Compagnie du Ponant has launched its Summer 2014 collection aboard its three elegant, intimate yacht-style cruisers, Le Boreal, L'Austral and Le Soleal (all with just 132 staterooms & suites), and the majestic three-masted yacht Le Ponant ( with only 32 staterooms).

From April to October 2014, they will be cruising in the Great Arctic North and Canada, Northern Europe and the Baltic, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, offering a wide range of unusual itineraries and ports of call. Each of the luxury yachts offers spacious suites, impeccable service and excellent food and wine – plus their small size allows them to reach destinations larger ships cannot. Passengers will also sail in the company of experts and historians as guides and lecturers who are passionate about their subjects.

Be it a five-star expedition to the Arctic, coast to coast cruising in the Mediterranean or themed cruises, Ponant offers much more than just a cruise: this is travel as it used to be in the golden age of the grand voyage.

NEW ITINERARIES

Spitsbergen & Iceland: Leaving from Longyearbyen, L’Austral sets sail for the iridescent ice fields of Spitsbergen where Zodiacs will take passengers as close as possible 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.

Alaska to Kamchatka: From Nome in Alaska, L’Austral heads for the wilderness of Kamtchatka in the Russian Far East. This volcanic region is spectacularly beautiful and home to extraordinary wildlife. 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 extraordinary contrasts and colours – from the 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. 

From the Atlantic To The North Sea: Departing from Bordeaux, Le Boreal heads north. After calls at Belle-Île-en-Mer and London, passengers will enjoy Amsterdam’s unique ambiance, Sylt Island in the heart of the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ecological energy-conscious city of Hamburg and the luminosity of Copenhagen.

Norwegian Fjords: from Copenhagen, L’Austral will explore nature’s wonders along the coast of Norway,whose spectacular 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 all feature on the itinerary of this exceptional cruise.
           
The Azores: Bathed in sunshine year-round, the Azores islands boast a rich natural, cultural and architectural heritage. Passengers on Le Boreal will begin their cruise on the main island, São Miguel, before heading for stunning Pico where vines are slowly reclaiming the slopes of the Ponta do Pico volcano. A particularly symbolic port of call for transatlantic sailors is Horta on Faial Island which has an unusually cosmopolitan atmosphere. On Terceira Island, Angra do Heroismo boasts a military heritage worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage site status. The last port of call will be Santa Maria Island, where the tranquil landscape is dotted with beaches, vineyards and white villages. 
           
Gourmet Cruise: From Lisbon to Bordeaux, Le Boreal transforms this voyage into an exceptional epicurean encounter. In a programme created by French magazine Cuisine et Vins de France, passengers will celebrate the delights of gourmet cuisine in the company of Michelin-starred Chefs and renowned Sommeliers, including celebrity head-chef Hélène 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.
         
Musical Cruise: Le Soleal invites music-lovers to embark on this fabulous voyage from Venice to Athens. Directed by Alain Duault and produced in partnership with France’s Radio Classique, this festival at sea welcomes some outstanding musicians. They will perform several concerts at some of the places visited: Zadar and Dubrovnik in Croatia, Kotor Fjord in Montenegro, Otranto in Italy, the legendary Olympia site and the ruins of Mycenae in Greece.
         
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, Taormina and Palermo in Sicily, and Ajaccio in Corsica. Aboard, Christian Morin and his quintet will perform two jazz concerts of 40s music in a tribute to Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

For bookings, follow this link to The Cruise Line, the UK's luxury cruising experts.