Le Soleal cruise ship-4

Last weekend, we were guests aboard Ponant’s luxury cruise ship Le Soléal. Ponant cruises are all about relaxation, good French cuisine, drinks and the outdoors — all in the lap of luxury.

Le Soléal cruise ship, Vancouver

This beautiful ship’s decor comes courtesy of French interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel.

Le Soleal lobby Le Soleal cruise ship-1

Each of its 132 staterooms and suites offers a breathtaking ocean view; 124 include their own balcony. Rooms are equipped with flat screen satellite TV’s, L’Occitane bath toiletries, 24-hour room service, direct phone line (via satellite) wifi (for a fee), electronic safe, a desk and iPods.

Le Soleal stateroom Le Soleal stateroom

Amenities include a spa, state-of-the-art fitness area, theatre, hammam, beauty and massage services. Built in 2013, Le Soléal is spread out between several communal areas, including a library, formal dining room and lounge with bar service. Because what 250-passenger luxury yacht would be complete without one?

Le Soleal cruise ship-6

The 10 Zodiacs stowed up front are perfect for excursions off the beaten path. And once you’ve returned from exploring some of the world’s most gorgeous spots – including Mount Etna, Tobago Cays or the Arctic – tuck into a meal at Marina Restaurant or enjoy Ladurée tea time.

Le Soleal cruise ship-2

The only French cruise line and world leader in Polar cruising, Ponant perpetuates the great French maritime tradition; one that offers exceptional destinations on small capacity ships embodying a lifestyle “à la française”: a travel concept that combines intimacy and curiosity, luxury and authenticity.

The ship’s size allows anchorage in smaller inlets as well as the ability to navigate through channels where larger cruise ships can’t fit.

Le Soleal cruise ship-5

And a couple of innovative green initiatives that we’re happy to see:
– Dynamic positioning system to avoid dropping anchor, hence protecting the seabed
– Silent and economic electric propulsion
– On-board FarSounder Sonar, providing 3D vision of the seabed at different depths
– Diesel engines that operate using lighter, less polluting MDO (Marine Diesel Oil)
– Wastewater and sewage treatment systems on board
– Eco-friendly lighting
– Reduced exhaust emissions

Le Soleal lounge

Even though the weather wasn’t very cooperative, we imagine cruising anywhere on this five-star luxury yacht a maker of lasting memories for years to come.

Unwatermarked photos © François Lefebvre.

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