World's Best 2016 Award Rank: #3 Mid-Size Ocean Ship
Best for: Well-heeled passengers looking for luxury and adventure
Sails: Alaska, Antarctica, the Arctic, the British Isles, the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii, Northern Europe, the Panama Canal, South America, the South Pacific
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing third in the Mid-Size Ocean Ship category. Essentially identical to sister ships L’Austral, Le Soléal, and Le Lyrial, Le Boréal feels like a private megayacht, albeit one with an ice-strengthened hull and the conveniences of a small luxury cruise ship. Owned by French line Ponant, the vibe is upscale and European, but the itineraries lean toward the exotic, including expedition-style voyages to the polar regions.