WHY IT RATES: Ponant has added a number of unique itineraries that include exotic ports-of-call in the Azores, Madeira and Bijagos Archipelago as well as stops in the U.K., France, Ireland and Norway only accessible by its small ships. —Janeen Christoff, TravelPulse Senior Writer
Ponant, the world leader in luxury expeditions and unique itineraries to destinations only small ships can reach, has announced a new schedule of cruises to Northern Europe and the Atlantic Islands. The cruises call at ports that only small ships, such as Ponant L’Austral, Le Boreal and two new Explorer Ships called Le Champlain (new in 2018) and Le Dumont-d’Urville (new in 2019) can navigate. Fares start at $3,300 per person for cruises that range from seven to 10 nights.
“We are excited that our ships will be visiting a selection of diverse ports of call,” noted Navin Sawhney, Ponant’s Chief Executive Officer, Americas. “A signature of Ponant is that our ships stop at exotic destinations such as the Azores, Madeira and the Bijagos Archipelago and that our programs look deeply into the art, history and culture of the more quintessential stops.”
Among the itineraries are two cruises from Ponant’s new Quintessential Collection, voyages designed to dig deeper into the destinations they explore. The nine-day Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites cruise aboard Le Boreal sails from England to Belgium with a visit to Bruges and into the North Sea to Bergen in Norway from May 14 to May 22, 2019, with stops at gardens and historic sites including a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.
Also part of the Quintessential Collection is History, Art & Architecture along the North Sea, an art connoisseur’s dream aboard the new ship Le Dumont-d’Urville starting in Copenhagen with visits to top art museums in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Bruges en route to Honfleur in France from August 25 to September 1, 2019.
Other cruises include Celtic Shores which sails from Portsmouth, England to Dublin, Ireland with visits to the Isle of Man, County Cork, Kinsale and the Isles of Scilly, aboard L’Austral from April 22 to April 29, 2019. Travelers can explore the massive geological formation called Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. A second Celtic Shores cruise reverses the itinerary with similar stops from April 29 to May 6, 2019.
In 2020, both L’Austral and Le Dumont-d’Urville will explore Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, departing from Dakar in Senegal to Lisbon with a visit to Santiago in Cape Verde and Las Palmas aboard L’Austral from April 1 to April 11, 2020.
Meanwhile, The Essential Azores cruise out of Ponta Delgada aboard Le Champlain is a brand-new itinerary that will visit the most beautiful sites of this volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic from April 5 to 12, 2020 and again from April 12 to 19, 2020. The ship will then sail out of Ponte Delgada on April 19, 2020 to beautiful Madeira and Porto Santo en route to Lisbon.
For music lovers, the 5th Annual Piano Festival at Sea, from April 18 to April 28, 2020, is an eleven-day journey from Dakar to the Canary Islands ending in Lisbon in partnership with Radio Classique.
Also out of Dakar from April 20 to 28, 2020 is Adventure in the Bijagos Archipelago, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve off the coast of Guinea-Bissau, from October 8 to 16, 2019, and again from April 10 to 18, 2020, exploring unspoiled nature, indigenous populations and biodiversity, with a healthy taste of adventure.
SOURCE: Ponant press release.
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