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Hi

 

We are looking at a b2b cruises on Le Boreal in Tahiti next October. We have never cruised with Ponant and only have Windstar to compare to for the region of the cruise. We normally go SB, SS or RSSC on bigger ships and know that we like them. Can you let us know how Ponant rate and give us an insight to them and Le Boreal please. Looking at Prestige deck 5 suite.

 

Also did read some comments that the suites tend to be dark as the balcony is half steel and not full glass like some bigger ships have.

 

Thank you, lock forward to your replies

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On 9/26/2019 at 5:53 AM, Qld13 said:

Hi

 

We are looking at a b2b cruises on Le Boreal in Tahiti next October.

Exactly which cruise are you considering?

 

I am a veteran of several trips on Regent, Silversea and Seabourn as well as many small expedition ships.  I have just booked back-to-back with Ponant in French Polynesia in May 2021.  This will be my first Ponant experience and I chose them because of the itinerary and the size of the ship.

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Just now, Fletcher said:

Exactly which cruise are you considering?

 

I am a veteran of several trips on Regent, Silversea and Seabourn as well as many small expedition ships.  I have just booked back-to-back with Ponant in French Polynesia in May 2021.  This will be my first Ponant experience and I chose them because of the itinerary and the size of the ship.  And I know French Polynesia very well.  

 

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That's a great b2b, especially the first cruise to the Austral Islands and that's where a small ship like L'Boreal will come in handy for zodiac landings on these remote islands which, by and large, have no tourism.   My b2b also goes to the Australs as well as the Marquesas - the itinerary for the Marquesas seems to much better than the traditional Aranui and also Nat Geo's Orion. 

 

I'm not expecting the same lux standards as you get on Seabourn or Silversea but I ran into a couple of Ponant's ships in Ushuaia last year and they look incredibly sleek and sophisticated.  There is relatively little info on this Forum so I do hope you plan on writing up your trip. 

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The timing of this thread is perfect for me. We are considering a Ponant expedition from Singapore to Darwin next November (23 Nov - 4 Dec 2020; Voyage E231120). It looks like a cool itinerary through parts of Indonesia, with stops in Borneo for Orangutans, and Komodo (though not sure what's going on there with the park closure - just one island, or more). 

 

However, our only expedition cruise experience is with Silversea - four on Silver Explorer, and one on Silver Cloud with a second one pending. I too was wondering how the two products compare. My sense is that there will be enough similarities that we'll feel comfortable with Ponant, and I agree with Fletcher - their ships do look really nice. But some firsthand experience from someone who's cruised both would be even better! I'd rather not wait for my own review 14 months from now. 😉

 

Will post this in the SS board too and see what information I can get.

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I have sailed on Silverseas Explorer 28 days and Silver Cloud expeditionary 24 days. And I have also sailed on an expeditionary cruise on Ponant 12 days.

 

If the itinerary is perfect I wouldn’t hesitate to cruise Ponant again. Sure it’s not quite up to the standard of Silverseas but it’s also not as expensive. It’s a very viable expeditionary experience. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hallo,

 

I have been on Ponant Le Soleal during their trip from the Easter Island to Tahiti  to Marquesa to Hawaii for 4 weeks in March this year. I loved it, so I already booked another 4 week trip next year.

Their is an review from another person just of 

this trip here:https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=653680

I have done some expedition cruises on various small ships, also Silversea and also on Seabourn.

Ponant for me had the best food of all! The passengers were about half english and half french speaking, the crew mainly preferred speaking english.

It is an expedition cruise, which means you might use zodiacs for landing. The cabins are quite small (compared to Seabourn), something I was worrying before I went on board, but it was no problem, enough space for everything. 

Edited by directionfinder
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We are booked on Le Bellot for November 2020, Singapore to Darwin. Excited about the itinerary and trying a new cruise line! 

 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment and share their experiences. 

Edited by jpalbny
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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,

 

My wife and I did 2 cruises earlier this year on Ponant's Le Laperouse (first of their smaller "Explorer" series ships, one from Cairns to Sydney and then through the Sub-Antarctic Islands off the bottom of New Zealand, and were very impressed. The cabins were small but beautifully appointed, and the service was generally excellent.

 

The Expedition staff were particularly good (mostly Australian on these itineraries), and the crew did their utmost to ensure the passenger got the best possible experience (we had 3 changes on the Sub-Antarctic cruise due to weather, but they always found an alternative). The Captain was very determined to get us into the zodiacs, once spending 4-5 hours at Lady Musgrave Island to find a spot where it was safe to transfer to the boats.

 

The include wines can be a bit hit and miss (although I believe their standard champagne has changed from Henri Abele to Piper Heidsieck in the past month, which would be an improvement for mine). The included drinks package is pretty comprehensive, but you can upgrade for EUD20 a day to a package with higher-end spirits and wines if you want.

 

For those booking B2B cruises, it's worth noting that Ponant will credit you with their first loyalty tier for the first cruise (rather than after the second like most programs) which means your laundry will be included. Unlimited Wi-Fi is also now included. After 2 weeks in the Sub-Antarctic my bill when I got off was EUD17... and I had to get a haircut to use up the last of the on-board credit.

 

Worth noting that both my cruises were conducted entirely in English, as there were only a handful of French speakers aboard - French Polynesia will be bi-lingual so all announcements will be in French first. There is some feedback on forums that French-speaking passengers tend to get more attentive service, but I couldn't fault the service.

 

There will be a couple of degustation-type dinners where everyone is served at once, these can be quite lengthy affairs.

 

Suffice to say we enjoyed Ponant enough to have booked 2 cruises back to back on Le Boreal next May sailing around the British Isles!

 

Bon Voyage!

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It is true that Ponant is slightly lower that Silversea or Seabourn and as someone mentionned, also cheaper but most important ... Ponant's vessels are still small ships which can't be said anylonger for Silversea, Seabourn! So if you yachting experience, zodiac landings and French cuisine are your type of vacation ... then don't hesitate and book  😉

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  • 9 months later...
On 11/25/2019 at 1:46 PM, kasr said:

Hi all,

 

My wife and I did 2 cruises earlier this year on Ponant's Le Laperouse (first of their smaller "Explorer" series ships, one from Cairns to Sydney and then through the Sub-Antarctic Islands off the bottom of New Zealand, and were very impressed. The cabins were small but beautifully appointed, and the service was generally excellent.

 

The Expedition staff were particularly good (mostly Australian on these itineraries), and the crew did their utmost to ensure the passenger got the best possible experience (we had 3 changes on the Sub-Antarctic cruise due to weather, but they always found an alternative). The Captain was very determined to get us into the zodiacs, once spending 4-5 hours at Lady Musgrave Island to find a spot where it was safe to transfer to the boats.

 

The include wines can be a bit hit and miss (although I believe their standard champagne has changed from Henri Abele to Piper Heidsieck in the past month, which would be an improvement for mine). The included drinks package is pretty comprehensive, but you can upgrade for EUD20 a day to a package with higher-end spirits and wines if you want.

 

For those booking B2B cruises, it's worth noting that Ponant will credit you with their first loyalty tier for the first cruise (rather than after the second like most programs) which means your laundry will be included. Unlimited Wi-Fi is also now included. After 2 weeks in the Sub-Antarctic my bill when I got off was EUD17... and I had to get a haircut to use up the last of the on-board credit.

 

Worth noting that both my cruises were conducted entirely in English, as there were only a handful of French speakers aboard - French Polynesia will be bi-lingual so all announcements will be in French first. There is some feedback on forums that French-speaking passengers tend to get more attentive service, but I couldn't fault the service.

 

There will be a couple of degustation-type dinners where everyone is served at once, these can be quite lengthy affairs.

 

Suffice to say we enjoyed Ponant enough to have booked 2 cruises back to back on Le Boreal next May sailing around the British Isles!

 

Bon Voyage!

Thanks for this helpful information.   My wife and I are now booked on "Le Bellot" for the second Sub-Antarctic Islands excursion cruise (the first commencing 29 Dec 2020) and our booking is in Privilege Suite 510 on Bridge Deck commencing 8 Feb 2021.    #    Currently "Le Bellot" is docked in MRS/ Marseille, France -- and CoVid-19 is rampant in Europe as Autumn/ Winter approach.   Plans are for "Le Bellot" (and "Le LaPerouse") to be based in Australian & New Zealand waters from 2021 onward, cruising mainly along the Kimberley Coast between Darwin and Broome, Western Australia (and also around coastal New Zealand during the Southern summer).     See the Ponant website for further details.

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See the thread in this forum about Ponant itinerary changes:

 

Le Bellot is no longer going to Australia/New Zealand.  The December cruises are now switched to Laperouse, and my expectation is that the January+ cruises will also change from Le Bellot to Laperouse.  Thankfully both ships are identical, so this shouldn't change your cabin assignment or any other features you were looking forward to.

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