Not just a cruise expert, a Ponant Cruise expert, YOUR expert.
No one knows Ponant like Sarah, which is why we’ve given Sarah her own blog series called “Sarah Says” where she will take you through the all important need to know when it comes to choosing the right Ponant cruise for you.
What makes Sarah an authority on Ponant? She knows all the nuanced differences between the Ponant itineraries, for example why you might choose to cruise the Ross Sea vs. Bellingshausen Sea or the must dos in the sub-Antarctic islands and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! (no pun intended)
Below is everything “Sarah Says” you need to know about the basics when it comes to Ponant.
No one does Small Ship Expedition Cruising better then Ponant, especially to polar regions. The best thing about Ponant is what they offer off the ship, they go to some really unique and exotic destination and do it with french flair and hospitality
Ponant is for people who are more interested in the destination and travelling, as opposed to the mean of transport (which by the way is still fantastic!!) Ponant is for travellers looking for an amazing experience and what is available off the ship as opposed to on the ship. If you like to explore and are motivated by a sense of responsible tourism and environmental sustainability then Ponant is for you.
Ponant’s Expedition Cruising is popular, once the new La Commandant Charcot Icebreaker is sailing (it’s on sale now) it will be hugely popular. Especially some of the more interesting itineraries like the ones that go down the Western side of the Antarctic Peninsula or the itinerary that goes all the way to the geographic North Pole.
If you are talking about Antarctic/Arctic cruising, you should only be looking at Ponant and particularly La Commandant Charcot. Being an icebreaker this ship can go further and for longer seasons than any other luxury expedition ship. For example it can go to the Northern Lights earlier in spring when there is a greater chance of seeing the lights – lots of other luxury cruise companies have to wait until later in spring and you have less opportunity to see them.
Ponant rewards you the further in advance you book. All cruises come on sale with a 30% Ponant Bonus (meaning 30% off the brochure/top price). Once a proportion of cabins have been booked the Ponant bonus saving drops to 25%, then 20% etc. They never release more promotions or discounts later to entice people to book last minute – they want you to book as far in advance as possible. They also have a clear and flexible cancellation policy at the moment for Covid-19 related bookings. Details here but basically you only pay a 25% deposit now with final payment not due until 30 days before departure.
A Ponant sailing typically includes all meals, a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) at any time of the day/night from boarding to disembarkation. For cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic, they also include chartered flights to get to the cruise start/end points (which can be very difficult to reach easily!). They do not include activities/excursions on board.
On expedition cruises, passengers are always accompanied by a team of about ten naturalist-guides and experts on board, with double that number on Le Commandant Charcot. They are all specialised in a particular field: history, geology, marine or land mammals, ornithology etc. That way you have a fully immersive cruise and destination experience, learning about the ship on land and while at sea.
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