Miami, FL, November 2012 "“Â Compagnie du Ponant's new 2013 summer cruise brochure outlines luxury yacht trips along the waters of The Great North, Canada, Northern Europe and the Baltic, the Western Mediterranean, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Asia.Â Compagnie du Ponant specializes inÂ upscale yacht cruisesÂ that give their guests the opportunity to explore legendary ports that other, larger ships simply can't access, along the way providing a leisurely and educational on-board experience.Â The company's three sisterÂ shipsÂ "“Â Le BorÃ©al,Â L'AustralÂ and the soon-to-launchLe SolÃ©alÂ "“ feature 132 staterooms, while the more intimate three-mastedÂ Le PonantÂ yacht has just 32 staterooms.
One of the biggest highlights for 2013 is the July debut ofÂ Le SolÃ©al, whose name was created from two strongÂ symbols,Â solelÂ (the sunshine) andÂ solalÂ (he who opens the way).Â Each stateroom is plush and elegant "“ decorated in warm colors and entirely open to the sea "“ and features a private balcony, DVD player, iPod docking station, internet access and other amenities.Â The addition ofÂ Le SolÃ©alÂ gives Compagnie du Ponant the opportunity to explore areas its other ships haven't yet visited, including August and September routes that feature Russia.Â Â Le SolÃ©alÂ will also take passengers on brand-new cruises in Asia, during which they can explore Japan's ancestral gardens, Vietnam's imperial cities, and the urban centers of Singapore and Hong Kong.
The ship's inaugural cruise travels from Venice to Barcelona and departs July 1.Â As an added incentive for guests to join this inaugural cruise, Compagnie du Ponant is offering a VIP stopover in Barcelona at no extra charge. The extra day will include visits to the Palace of Catalan Music and the Gran Liceu Theatre, lunch at a manor farm, dinner at the Royal Arsenals, and overnight at the former palace of the Marquis of Comillas (now known as Hotel 1898).
Compagnie du Ponant has also moved to a simpler and thoroughly transparent pricing structure for the North American market that highlights all-inclusive fares.Â All meals, open bar, stocked mini-bars in all staterooms and suites, a welcome-aboard cocktail party, 24-hour room service, all entertainment as indicated within the itinerary, gratuities, port charges, and even taxes and fees are now included in the pricing.Â Select itineraries also offer air-inclusive options.Â The only extras are guests' personal expenses, air (in most cases), transfers and optional excursions.
Another gem of the 2013 season is the continuation of Compagnie du Ponant's themed cruises.Â Some of theseÂ focus on cuisine, while others highlight golf or music.Â A new May cruise from Honfleur, France, to Copenhagen will focus on finance and wealth management; a new travel and lifestyle-themed cruise from Nice to Lisbon is scheduled for October; and a new beauty-themed cruise from Lisbon to Las Palmas, Spain, will also take place in October.
An advantage to booking with Compagnie du Ponant is the Ponant Bonus, a promotional fare with savings up to 30% off the full cruise price. The further in advance a guest books, the better the Bonus fare.Â Other specials include a new 5% discount on family-and-friends groups of five or more; a new 50% discount for guests ages 12 to 18 traveling with their families and sharing a stateroom with another teen or adult; a 10% discount on back-to-back cruises; increased savings on wedding and anniversary packages; single supplements from 15%; and discounts for referring other guests to Compagnie du Ponant.
Established in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant is a member of both La Charte Bleue d'Armateurs de France and IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators).Â All of Compagnie du Ponant's ships and cruise itineraries are designed to protect marine wildlife, coastal environments, and local flora and fauna.