Le Lyrial
Le Lyrial / Ponant / Alexis Harnichard
1 of 5
Reception / Ponant / Christophe Dugied
2 of 5
Open-Air Bar
Open-Air Bar / Ponant / Christophe Dugied
3 of 5
Club Lounge
Club Lounge / Ponant / Christophe Dugied
4 of 5
Prestige Stateroom
Prestige Stateroom / Ponant / François Lefebvre
5 of 5

Le Lyrial

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Le Lyrial, the fourth vessel in Ponant's “Sisterships” class, had her inaugural sail in May 2015. The mega-yacht expedition ship carries just 244 guests, yet features all the facilities of a larger vessel: theater, spa, fitness center, and open-air bar. The décor is white, silver, and blue — inspired by Mediterranean hues and the constellation Lyra, after which the ship was named.

What We Love

All Ocean-View Staterooms: Every one of Le Lyrial’s 122 staterooms and suites offers sea views, and most have balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors.

Dining Choices: Some smaller ships only keep one restaurant open for most meals, but on Le Lyrial, guests have a choice of casual or formal dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every day — plus 24-hour complimentary room service.

Best Known For

French Flair: From the wine list and menus to the textiles and luxury product partnerships, this cruise ship is French in every way. It looks and feels chic, and fits in perfectly with the stunning mega-yachts in ports like Monaco and Corsica.

Antarctic Expeditions: As lovely as Le Lyrial is, she’s designed for heavy seas and extreme conditions. The ship spends most winters (summer in the Southern Hemisphere) sailing itineraries to Antarctica, while summer cruises are offered in Northern Europe, the Norwegian fjords, and the Arctic

Who It's Best For

Francophiles: If you like the style and joie de vivre of French culture, you’ll enjoy this ship. A sophisticated party atmosphere pervades, with kids in the cocktail lounge at 7 p.m. and 60-year-olds — looking stunning in little black dresses — dancing to EDM after midnight.

Health-Minded Cruisers: The blocks of French butter served with every meal notwithstanding, this ship does make it possible to be healthy while cruising. There’s a decent-sized fitness center and a full-service spa, relatively small portions at formal meals, and plenty of activities that don’t involve eating or drinking.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Set Menus: During formal dinners in the gastronomic restaurant, you pretty much can't veer away from the options on the set menu. Although Ponant says its restaurant managers are happy to assist with special dietary needs, a request for a grilled chicken breast and to mix and match the vegetarian and regular menus were both met with “No, it's not possible.” The casual restaurant on deck six is far more accommodating.

Lena Katz
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger