Ponant Names New Ship

With the same elegant contours as her two sister ships, Le Boréal (2010) and L’Austral (2011), LE SOLÉAL is set to become further embodiment of Compagnie du Ponant’s ‘Yacht cruises’ concept.

Boasting five-star accommodation in the 132 staterooms and suites with a sophisticated design, Le Soléal offers the same level of comfort as a private yacht. Plus, this human-size vessel is permitted access to the most outstanding sites around the globe, where larger ships can’t even get close.

By naming its new ship ‘Le Soléal’, Compagnie du Ponant not only makes the connection with its two other ships, L’Austral and Le Boréal, obvious, but also aims to emphasise the ‘soft expedition’ aspect of their itineraries. Etymologically, Le Soléal is a combination of two of the company’s most powerful symbols – ‘le soleil’ (French for sun) and ‘the one who leads the way’.

For her inaugural season starting in July 2013, Le Soléal will be taking passengers to a new, rarely visited and exclusive, destination: the Arctic. From the legendary North West Passage (which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans) to the Bering Strait, from ice floe to tundra, these unusual itineraries will offer passengers the chance to discover hidden gems way beyond the Arctic Circle. Le Soléal’s 264 passengers will be able to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, discover Inuit villages and watch extraordinary wildlife, including polar bears, brown bears, wolves, puffins, walrus and even belugas.

Excursions in zodiacs, hiking excursions and helicopter tours will also be on offer for the most adventurous guests.

Stable and quiet, Le Soléal is designed to navigate safely in the most extreme regions. The ship was awarded a CLEANSHIP certificate

Designed by architect Jean-Philippe Nuel, the contemporary interiors are inspired by the world of yachting. Nautical codes have been subtly revisited and applied to re-create the atmosphere of chic seaside resorts, with clean lines and combining the soothing colours of driftwood, and shades of grey and white.

Restaurants, lounges, a library, theatre and spa also offer passengers a whole range of five-star facilities and commodities.

A well thought design, excellent service and gourmet cuisine enhanced by state-of-the-art equipment and comfort reflects perfectly the philosophy of Compagnie du Ponant – a slow cruise combining intimacy, authenticity and elegance, as only the French know how.

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