With only 64 passengers onboard and multiple sails billowing overhead, Le Ponant feels a little like having your own personal yacht. No one will blame you if make a beeline to the sundeck for your first cocktail—and selfie—onboard under the ship’s three masts.
The yacht’s diminutive size means it can slide in and out of destinations most cruise ships can’t. Rather than exploring an entire region, the ship tends to focus on visiting multiple locations in a small area. On some of its Caribbean voyages, Le Ponant visits several islands in the Grenadines, and on one weeklong itinerary, the ship stops at six different ports on the island of Corsica alone.
On such an intimate ship, it’s no surprise that the cabins are also on the small side. The 32 nautical-style blue-and-white cabins range from 113 to 165 square feet and have portholes. There are no balconies onboard—more incentive to spend your days on deck or off ship in the warm sea air.
This is a French ship, and the menu reflects that fact. At dinner, passengers have a white-tablecloth dinner of French- or regionally inspired fare like smoked duck and poached egg salad or kingfish filet with vanilla sauce in the Karukéra Restaurant, accompanied by a red, white, and rosé selected by a sommelier. At lunch, guests gravitate to the alfresco seating at the more casual Diamant Restaurant for a meal with a view.
Le Ponant spends much of her time shuttling between the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. With itineraries like these, you’ll want to spend time in the water. Luckily, the vessel has its own marina, so when it’s at anchor, you can go swimming in the sea directly off the ship.