PONANT and Paul Gauguin cruise lines are back in business.
With eight ships sailing from ports in Iceland, Dalmatian Coast, the Arctic, France and French Polynesia – including the inaugural seasons for the final two EXPLORER vessels, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier – the two cruise companies have already hit the seas last month with plans for much more.
With a fleet of smaller-sized ships, both PONANT and Paul Gauguin can reach remote sites on its unique itineraries where other vessels are not permitted.
– Le Bellot, the fifth installment in the PONANT EXPLORER series – with just 92 cabins – will circumnavigate Iceland on a new eight-day, seven-night itinerary from Reykjavik in her inaugural season. The first sailing departed on July 13 with four additional departures available through August. Highlights include Snaeellsjokull National Park overlooking the Snaefel volcano, the isolated region of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve where passengers can disembark for a guided hike and explore the diverse landscapes of the East Fjords. The August sailings are scheduled for August 5, 12, 19 and 26.
– Le Champlain – also part of the PONANT EXPLORERS series – began her first cruise on July 31 from Dubrovnik, with an eight-day cruise along the Dalmatian coastline in Croatia. Highlights include the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the national park of the island of Mljet; the mountain island of Korcula and its medieval city, where Marco Polo was born. The cruise will visit the preserved island of Vis, located in an archipelago classified as a Geopark by UNESCO.
– PONANT resumed its expedition cruises to the Arctic on July 11 with four new itineraries, including its inaugural crossing of the Northeast Passage. A 23-day expedition cruise on Le Boreal will depart from Longyearbyen, Norway on September 28 tracing the maritime corridor along Siberia’s northern coast and discovering a region only a handful of passenger transits have seen.
– PONANT sailings from France debuted on July 11. Le Jacques Cartier, the sixth and final EXPLORER ship, will sail roundtrip from Saint-Malo on seven-night itineraries exploring the Breton Coast. Highlights include the brand’s namesake islands, Ponant Islands.
– Paul Gauguin, now part of the PONANT family, resumed sailings for local residents of French Polynesia on July 18 and opened to international travelers on July 29. Three new itineraries are now available to explore French Polynesia including a 10-night sailing to discover the landscapes of Society Islands, the most visited archipelago in the region.