Ponant’s Le Soleal Completes Ten Years in Service

Le Soleal

Ponant’s Le Soléal has marked ten years in service.

Built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, the vessel was delivered to the French cruise line on June 28, 2023.

Third in a series of four ships that started with Le Boreal in 2010, the 260-guest vessel was purpose-built to offer luxury cruises in remote parts of the globe.

During its maiden season, Le Soléal offered a series of polar expeditions to the Arctic region.

One of the highlights of the inaugural program was a crossing of the Northwest Passage from Greenland to Siberia.

Completed in September 2013, the operation marked the first time that a French commercial ship successfully crossed the famous shipping route.

Continuing its inaugural deployments, Le Soléal repositioned to Asia for the 2013-14 winter season.

The ship’s program in the region included a total of 16 departures and 13 different itineraries.

Among the destinations that welcomed the ship during the span were Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and India, as well as Borneo, Myanmar and Oman.

Now in service in Kimberley, the 10,000-ton vessel continues to sail in the Pacific Ocean throughout 2024.

After completing its program in the Australian region, the ship is set to offer expeditions to remote parts of Oceania and Southeast Asia before repositioning to New Zealand.

In addition to itineraries to the country’s Subantarctic Islands, Le Soleal is also scheduled to sail to unique expeditions to Antarctica departing from Dunedin during the 2023-2024 winter.

Sailing to the Ross Sea, the 21-night cruises include visits to historic sites in the region, including Sir Ernest Shackleton’s hut at Cape Royd and more.

According to Ponant, Le Soleal was designed to take passengers to the “farthest reaches of the planet” while offering “five-star, top-of-the-range services.”

Described as being similar to a mega-yacht in size and appearance, the ship also carries a fleet of 11 zodiacs, in addition to many public rooms, including two restaurants, a pool deck, a theater and several bars and lounges.

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