Le Ponant in the Maldives
Le Ponant in the Maldives / Ponant / François Lefebvre
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Lounge / Ponant / François Lefebvre
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Stateroom with Twin Setup
Stateroom with Twin Setup / Ponant
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Stateroom / Ponant / François Lefebvre
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Le Ponant
Le Ponant / Ponant
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Le Ponant

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Ponant launched the three-masted Le Ponant in 1991, and those towering sails are raised to reach idyllic islands, from Cape Verde to the Caribbean, and smaller ports throughout the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Greek Isles. Sailings on the 288-foot-long Le Ponant are an intimate and luxurious experience, with just 32 guests looked after by a crew of 33. The ship can achieve 12 knots under sail alone, while a 13-foot draft ensures that shallow waterways and anchorages are not barriers during off-the-beaten-track itineraries.

What We Love

Indoor-Outdoor Dining: Le Diamant panoramic restaurant offers great buffet breakfasts, lunches of fine French cuisine, and dinners that are gastronomic feasts featuring Veuve Clicquot Champagne. When the ship is anchored off of a fashionable resort, the sense of privilege while dining under the stars is palpable.

Indoor Dining: In the more formal Karukéra restaurant, a brigade of French chefs prepares gastronomic feasts.

Best Known For

Modernized Staterooms: A major refurbishment of Le Ponant in 2022 halved the ship’s guest capacity and combined previously snug cabins into several new categories of staterooms and suites featuring sleek and airy contemporary décor. Yes, the smallest Mistral and Mistral Prestige staterooms are still a compact 150 and 172 square feet, respectively (and do not have a balcony), but the seven other categories are substantially roomier. These range from the 204-square-foot Alizés Stateroom with Balcony to the 505-square-foot Owner’s Suite with Balcony. 

Barefoot Chic: The Emeraude Lounge opens onto a delightful covered open deck at Le Ponant's stern, where steps lead to the marina pontoon.

Who It's Best For

Francophiles: As the majority of guests are French, speaking un petit peu (a little bit) of the language is helpful. This intimate vessel is very sociable and the multi-lingual cruise director ensures an informal atmosphere.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

There's Motion to the Ocean: There are no stabilizers, so when the winds blow and the sails fill, Le Ponant behaves like a tall ship and some pitching and rolling is inevitable. This isn’t often a major problem unless a guest is motion sensitive and prone to seasickness.