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Cruises, Special Cruise Deals, Cruise Lines, Cruse Destinations, Luxury Cruises…Everything About Cruises by Travel Author/Editor Lillian Africano

Compagnie du Ponant Launches Summer 2014 Cruise Collection

Leading French cruise line and 5-Star Expedition specialist COMPAGNIE DU PONANT has launched its Summer 2014 collection aboard its three elegant, intimate yachts, LE BORÉAL, L’AUSTRAL and LE SOLÉAL (132 staterooms & suites), and the majestic three-masted LE PONANT (32 staterooms).

From April to October 2014, they will be cruising in the Great Arctic North and Canada, North Europe and the Baltic, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, offering a wide range of unusual itineraries and parts of call.

Each of the luxury yachts offers spacious suites, impeccable service and excellent food and wine – plus their small size allows them to reach destinations that larger ships cannot. Passengers sail in the company of experts and historians as guides, and lecturers who are passionate about their subjects.

Be it a five-star expedition to the Arctic, coast to coast cruising in the Mediterranean or themed cruises, COMPAGNIE DU PONANT offers so much more than just a cruise: this is travel as it used to be in the golden age of the grand voyage.


NEW ITINERARIES

ARCTIC NORTH & CANADA

SPITSBERGEN AND ICELAND : Leaving from Longyearbyen, L’AUSTRAL sets sail for the iridescent ice fields of Spitsbergen where Zodiacs® will take passengers as close as it is possible to be to polar landscapes, the ice floe, glaciers and icebergs. The ship then heads for Iceland on a new itinerary from Grimsey Island, along the coast and south as far as Reykjavík. On the program: the beautiful town of Akureyri, Godafoss Falls, Skálanes nature reserve in the heart of the spectacular Seydisfjördur, the village of Fáskrúdsfjördur founded by French fisherman at the end of the 19th century, and the islands of Papey and Heimaey.
Longyearbyen – Reykjavík (15 days / 14 nights) – Departs 22 June 2014 – From $7,623 per person

ALASKA TO KAMTCHATKA : From Nome in Alaska, L’AUSTRAL heads for the wilderness of Kamtchatka in the Russian Far East. This volcanic region is spectacularly beautiful and home to extraordinary wildlife. One of the highlights is the Valley of Geysers, 40 volcanoes in the Kronotsky Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Uzon Caldera with its extraordinary contrasts and colors – from intense blue of the lake and streams, suspensions of milky sulphur and the emerald green of the algae. New for 2014 is the possibility to begin the cruise with a short stay in Seattle.
Nome – Petropavlovsk (16 days / 14 nights) – Departs 16 September 2014 – From $12,301 per person (direct flights included)

NORTHERN EUROPE & THE BALTIC

FROM THE ATLANTIC TO THE NORTH SEA : Departing from Bordeaux, LE BORÉAL heads north. After two unexpected parts of call at Belle-Île-en-Mer and London, passengers will enjoy Amsterdam’s unique ambiance, Sylt Island in the heart of the Wadden Sea National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the ecological energy-conscious city of Hamburg and the luminosity of Copenhagen. There will be two exceptional guests on board: Breton author-composer Louis Capart and Ukrainian pianist Dimitri Naïditch.
Bordeaux – Copenhagen (11 days / 10 nights) – Departs 12 May 2014 – From $3,769 per person

NORWEGIAN FJORDS : From Copenhagen, L’AUSTRAL will be exploring nature’s wonders along the coast of Norway whose spectacular fjords have nearly all earned the UNESCO World Heritage site status. The Briksdal and Svartisen glaciers, the Jostedalsbreen Glacier National Park, Geiranger Fjord and the Viking islands of Giske and Godoy all feature on the itinerary of this exceptional cruise. In the Vega archipelago south of the Polar Circle, passengers can observe colonies of eider ducks on their way to the wild landscape of the Lofoten Islands. In Bergen and Tromsø, they will discover the two faces of Nordic architecture, where tradition meets modernity.
Copenhagen – Tromsø (10 days / 9 nights) – Departs 26 May 2014 – From $5,360 per person

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

THE AZORES : Bathed in sunshine all year round, the Azores group of islands boasts a rich natural, cultural and architectural heritage. Passengers on LE BORÉAL will begin their cruise on the main island São Miguel, before heading for stunning Pico where vines are slowly reclaiming the slopes of the Ponta do Pico volcano. A particularly symbolic port of call for trans-Atlantic sailors is Horta on Faial Island which has an unusually cosmopolitan atmosphere. On Terceira Island, Angra do Heroismo boasts a military heritage (16th century) worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage site status. The last port of call in the Azores will be Santa Maria Island, where the tranquil landscape is dotted with beaches, vineyards, and white villages. On the return route to Lisbon, the ship will stop at the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo.
Ponta Delgada – Lisbon (10 days / 9 nights) – Departs 25 April 2014 – From $4,127 per person

GOURMET CRUISE : From Lisbon to Bordeaux, LE BORÉAL transforms this cruise into an exceptional epicurean encounter. In a program created by French magazine Cuisine et Vins de France , passengers will be celebrating the delights of gourmet cuisine in the company of Michelin-starred Chefs and renowned Sommeliers. They include celebrity head-chef Hèléne Darroze, Jean Sulpice, Nicolas Magie, Philippe Faure-Brac and Olivier Dauga. Tastings, culinary workshops and conferences will be on the menu between calls into Porto, Viana do Castelo, Vigo, La Coruna, Bilbao, Le Verdon and Bordeaux.
Lisbon – Bordeaux (9 days / 8 nights) – Departs 4 May 2014 – From $3,231 per person

GOLF CRUISE
: Some new Spanish golf courses in Malaga, Valencia and Barcelona have been added to LE PONANT’s golfing programme, which includes some of the most beautiful courses on the Côte d’Azur, Corsica and Italy.
Malaga – Nice (9 days / 8 nights) – Departs 21 April 2014 – From $4,119 per person
Nice – Valletta (8 days / 7 nights) – Departs 14 June 2014 – From $4,553 per person
Nice – Nice (8 days / 7 nights) – Departs 18 October 2014 – From $4,081 per person

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

MUSICAL CRUISE : LE SOLÉAL invites music-lovers to embark on this fabulous musical cruise from Venice to Athens. Directed by Alain Duault and produced in partnership with France’s Radio Classique, this festival at sea welcomes some outstanding musicians in Italy, the legendary Olympia site and the ruins of Mycenae in Greece.
Venice – Athens (8 days / 7 nights) – Departs 18 September 2014 – From $3,923 per person

JAZZ CRUISE : For this new itinerary, LE SOLÉAL sets sail from Istanbul to France via Dikili near the Pergamum site in Turkey, Katakolon near the Olympia site in Greece, Taomina and Palermo in Sicily, and Ajaccio in Corsiva. Aboard, Christian Morin and his quintet will perform two jazz concerts of 40’s music in a tribute to Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.
Istanbul – Marseille (8 days / 7 nights) – Departs 2 October 2014 – From $3,148 per person

To download or browse through the Summer 2014 brochure click here .

About Compagnie du Ponant

Since its founding by two French Merchant Navy officers in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant has taken to the sea with intimate ships that offer the essence of private luxury yachting with inspired French sensibility and custom technology to preserve fragile marine ecosystems. This year, the world’s only French cruise line is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the July 2013 launch of its fourth state-of-the-art vessel, the 132-staterooom Le Soléal, and introducing new itineraries in the Arctic and Asia.

Able to sail in waters not accessible to larger ships, the four sleek Compagnie du Ponant yachts visit exotic ports not found on many itineraries, allowing 64 to 264 guests to discover engaging new experiences aboard and ashore during 3- to 21-night cruises that span the globe. Options abound, from five-star polar expeditions, cultural cruises and ocean voyages to music – (jazz, classical, opera and more), golf- and culinary-themed cruises. All cruises feature attentive service from a convivial crew fluent in English and French, luxuriously appointed staterooms and suites, gourmet cuisine and fine wine, and carefully curated excursions.

Compagnie du Ponant’s North American sales office is located at 2 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2470, Miami, Florida 33131. For reservations and more information, please call: 1-305-398-9849 or toll free: 1-888-400-1082; email: USreservations@ponant.com, or visit the website .

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