You will find frequently asked questions in the FAQ section below.
For more information, contact us by clicking here .
What is included in the all-inclusive offer?
At PONANT, the "all-inclusive" includes:
- accommodation in stateroom,
- the full meal plan,
- the Open Bar: beginning with boarding, and during the duration of the cruise, a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) is served on request and at any time of the day. Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar,
- free Wi-Fi internet access 24 hours a day*,
- access to all the common areas:
- on board our sister ships and Ponant Explorers: fitness room, steam room, hair salon, swimming pool (sea water, heated), solarium, lounges, theater, boutique & leisure area.
- on board of our three-masted Le Ponant: Solarium of 400 m², marina, lounge, Boutique & leisure area.
Is airfare included in the price of the cruise?
For all our cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic, we charter aircraft and transfers in order to facilitate the arrival and the departure of our passengers. Thus we offer air packages having the following benefits: direct flights, baggage transported on a single flight to ensure its delivery at the arrival point, ship’s departure delayed in the event of a flight delay & personalized service on board. For cruises outside of Arctic and Antarctic, some flights are included in the rate shown. These cruises are identifiable by the notation "round-trip flights included", "domestic flight for arrival included", or "return domestic flight included". For more information, our Information & Booking Service is at your disposal. You can contact them here .
Are port taxes included in the price of the cruise?
You will not have to worry about port taxes, they are included in your cruise fare.
Do reservations with PONANT include visa applications?
In most cases, you should take care of visa applications and all the necessary paperwork for visiting certain countries. For reservations made by French, Belgian and Swiss citizens, we will indicate what type of visa is necessary for your trip. When certain visas are issued and invoiced directly on board, the information is indicated on our website, in the description of the cruise (Formalities section).
Are excursions included in the price of the cruise?
Excursions offered are not included in the price of the cruise.
Are all meals included in the price of the cruise?
The breakfasts, lunches and dinners served on board are included in the price of the cruise. Beginning with boarding and during the entire duration of the cruise, beverages are served on request and at any time of the day. The Open Bar offers a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck Champagne, spirits, coffee, tea). Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar.
Are Spa services included in the price of the cruise?
Access to the steam room and the fitness room is free, except on Le Ponant which does not have them. You can discover all of our paying services (scrubs, facials, hair care, hair styling and body care) on our Spa menu here .
What champagne is included in the price of the cruise?
Charles Heidsieck champagne is included in the Open bar.
Are the rates displayed per person or per stateroom?
The rates displayed on our site are per person, on the basis of a double occupancy. A single supplement applies automatically for people wishing to travel alone. This supplement is offered on some cruises, discover the list of departures concerned by this offer here
What is the PONANT Bonus?
Le "The PONANT Bonus" allows you to benefit from the most economical fares as soon as possible. This promotional rate, up to 30% discount, increases as a function of the availability of the cruise. Find details concerning the PONANT bonuses here .
Are the rates displayed on the site calculated based on the PONANT Bonus?
The rates displayed on the site are updated in real time according to the evolution of the PONANT Bonus.
I have seen a different rate for the same cruise on other sites, how can this be explained?
PONANT is committed to offering exactly the same rates with travel agencies as with its direct customers, including Internet sales and on foreign markets. If you find different rates for the same PONANT cruise, please report this to the following email address: email@example.com
Are your cruises suitable for solo travellers?
Every season, we offer a wide range of cruises with the single supplement fee waived: you thus get to enjoy a double cabin to yourself, without any additional cost. The atmosphere on board is conducive to encounters and interaction with the other passengers. Our crews also cater to your well-being and ensure that you are settling in on board.
Check out our upcoming cruises, with no single supplement.
Where can I find the summary of my orders/cruises?
You can find the summary of your orders and your cruises on your account, in the "My PONANT” tab. Log in to your My PONANT account by clicking here .
Do you offer flexible booking conditions?
In the context of this unprecedented health crisis, PONANT has introduced an Ultra Serenity policy which applies to all new bookings made between 25 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 for a cruise scheduled to depart by 30 April 2022.
To find out more about our Ultra Sérénité policy, consult our dedicated page.
If the PCR test is performed in the four days prior to departure, but results are not received on time, can you receive a refund or credit note?
If the result of the test is not received on time for boarding, the passenger will be able to request a credit note.
What is the cancellation policy?
For more information on our cancellation policy, we invite you to consult our General Terms and Conditions
* The connection may be slower or even interrupted in certain geographic regions or due to circumstances outside of our control.
How is the on-line payment of my cruise done?
During the course of the booking a PONANT cruise on our Internet site, you can make your payment by bank card: Visa, Mastercard, Carte Bleue, E-Carte Bleue or American Express. You can also choose between the payment of a deposit, or the payment of the totality of the balance of your account. Online payments are obviously fully secured since we use the SSL protocol encryption system that protects your information at the time of the transaction.
How can I find my PONANT Yacht Club membership number?
What is a waiting list and how do I register?
If the cruise that you want to book is complete, you have the opportunity to register on a waiting list. This list allows you to be informed as soon as the cruise is again available for sale. To register on a waiting list, simply go on the cruise sheet of your choice and click on the button "complete cruise". A link you will take you to the form to complete.
Where does my vessel depart from?
On the boarding day of your cruise, your vessel leaves the port mentioned on the first day of the itinerary. A few weeks before your departure, you receive your travel book with all the information necessary for the proper conduct of your cruise, including a reminder of your itinerary and the name of the port of embarkation.
How do I get to the departure location of my cruise?
It is possible for you to come to the place of departure for your cruise by your own means, or to call our services. Your round trip flights, your transfers between the airport and the port of embarkation and disembarking or your programs before and after cruise: PONANT accompanies you through the complete planning of your trip. Discover all the information on our no-worries offer here .
What time can I embark on the first day of my cruise?
The embarkation schedule is indicated on the first day of your cruise itinerary. A few weeks before your departure, you receive your travel book with all the information necessary for the proper conduct of your cruise, including the embarkation schedule.
What documents are necessary for boarding?
All passengers must have valid proof of identity and the necessary visas for the destination countries, according to their nationality. Upon your arrival on board, the form of identification you used to complete the Information Sheet will be taken from you. It will be kept until the end of the cruise to be presented by the ship officials to the customs authorities at each port. If you need it during a port of call, it will be available for you at reception, provided that you return it once back on board.
How does disembarkation work?
More details of the end-of-cruise disembarkation will be given in the logbook and at reception. We invite you to read these details carefully.
What does the reinforced sanitary protocol implemented by PONANT consist of?
On land or on board, PONANT uses all technological, human and material resources to ensure a watertight “ANTI-COVID” health bubble, applying reinforced protection thanks to our 3 “shields” which guarantee:
- Strict access conditions to our ships: 100% of passengers and staff tested
- The preservation of a health bubble on board: following protective measures on board and when going ashore in areas where the epidemic is under control, taking temperatures at the entrance of the different public spaces, treatment and total disinfection of surfaces.
- Daily control and monitoring: regular sampling, rapid diagnosis, medical team and hospital on boardFor further information on our health protocol, consult our dedicated page .
Have embarking and disembarking changed on account of the Health protocol?
Boarding times have been staggered to improve the flow of arriving passengers and to avoid passengers being too close together. Passengers receive their disembarking time via SMS.
Are certain areas on board closed for hygiene reasons?
The exceptional circumstances associated with the current health situation are forcing us to adapt the services we offer on board. Under the exceptional circumstances, some of these services, such as the spa, shows or the photo and video studio, may no longer be offered. Our requirements with regard to the welcome extended to each guest, the gastronomy and the care taken to ensure the comfort of the cabins will, however, continue to meet the highest of standards.
How are meals served on board: are you seated? Can you eat lunch or dinner with other passengers?
In accordance with the hygiene regulations in force, we have done away with buffets in favour of table service. Upon entering the restaurant, the maître d’ will offer you a choice of several available tables. For each meal, you can thus choose the table that suits you best. If you wish to share a table with other passengers, social distancing between passengers must be observed, with the maximum number of guests at a table limited to six.
Can you go into town by yourself during stopovers?
The option for passengers to visit stopover towns/cities by their own arrangement depends on the regulations enforced by the local governmental authorities, by which PONANT is bound. Where possible, we will offer excursions that are compliant with the requirements enforced by the local authorities.
Are masks provided on board?
Two Armor Lux® fabric masks per passenger are provided in your cabin.
Are the hygiene conditions identical on Le Paul Gauguin and on the other ships within the PONANT fleet?
The same hygiene measures apply on board all ships within the fleet, including on Le Paul Gauguin.
Where can I find the times of the ports of call of my cruise?
The times of arrival and departure for each port will be indicated on the day prior in the newsletter you will receive each evening. Please note that the ship is unable to wait for latecomers. We thank you in advance for your understanding and for respecting the designated times.
What is the procedure for arrival in port?
At each arrival into a new port, immigration and customs officials will board the ship. As soon as the necessary checks have been done, the passengers and crew will be allowed ashore. In the event of a lack of required infrastructure in certain ports, the ship could anchor offshore. In this case, disembarkation will be done using small boats from the ship, or local launches. Given the limited number of these boats, the disembarkation will be done in groups. Please pay close attention to on-board announcements.
Are the excursions obligatory?
Certain excursions will be offered to you according to the port of call, and are not included in the price of the cruise. They are optional, so you can choose to not reserve a place, or alternatively to even organise your own excursions. Nevertheless, only excursions offered by the cruise will guarantee that you are back on board at the required time.
What is the difficulty level of these excursions? Would they be suitable to an elderly person or a beginner?
We do all we can to offer excursions that are accessible to the greatest number of people. We will specify in the description if an excursion presents a certain level of difficulty (long walks, rugged trails, long journeys etc.). If you have any doubts about the feasibility of an excursion, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Trip Advisors here.
When can I reserve my excursions?
Pre-registration for the excursions is available until a minimum of 60 days before the beginning of your cruise, and registration is available until 7 days before the beginning of your cruise. To do this, contact your Trip Advisor directly, or ask to be contacted through the PONANT App. Once your pre-registration has been completed, you will not have to go to the Excursions Office once on board to confirm. However, payment for pre-registrations is made on board.
If you have not pre-registered before your cruise, you can always reserve once on board at the Excursions Office (open daily, opening hours can be found in your logbook). However, certain excursions have a limited number of places and a registration deadline, after which it will not be possible for you to reserve or to modify your excursions. You should therefore fill in a registration form. This form will remain at the Office and will be completed in case of any additional reservations. The price of the excursion will be directly added to your on-board account.
Pre-sale excursions: For logistical reasons, some excursions should be reserved and paid for before the beginning of your cruise (up to 30 or 60 days before it begins). Once these deadlines have passed and you are on board, it will unfortunately no longer be possible to ask to take part.
Can I take part in multiple excursions on the same day?
Because ot timing conflicts it is only possible to reserve one excursion per day in port. In the event that you would like to take part in a second excursion on the same day, visit the Excursions Office in order check the feasibility.
What do the Excursion Packages consist of?
- The "Essential" Pack: an offer containing the unmissable excursions on your cruise.
- The "Essential+" Pack: an offer containing one excursion for each day in port (including the "Essential" Pack).
- The "Prestige" Pack: an offer containing in addition one limited-place or pre-sale excursion (including the "Essential+" Pack).
In order to facilitate your choice of excursions, the specialists at PONANT have created Excursion Packages for certain cruises. They are designed according to the excursions offered on the cruise. The number of excursions in each package can therefore differ. 2 or 3 Packages can be offered, according to the cruise:
The Excursion Packages are only available during pre-reservation (from 60 to 7 days before your cruise, depending on availability) with payment made on board.
Once aboard, how does the organisation of the excursions work?
On the day before your excursion, you will receive, in your cabin, a ticket reminding you of the name of the selected excursion as well as the meeting time and place.
On the day of the excursion, please bring this ticket with you as it will be collected at the beginning of the tour.
In order to take part in the tours as a group with your family or friends, please let the Excursion Office know the numbers of your cabins at the beginning of your cruise.
How is the expedition team made up on board? What role does it play?
On expedition cruises, our passengers are always accompanied by a team of about ten naturalist-guides and experts on board, with double that number on Le Commandant Charcot. They are all specialised in a particular field: history, geology, marine or land mammals, ornithology... Their objective is to share their knowledge with passengers during on-board conferences and excursions as well as landings in Zodiac boats, with the aim of making them true ambassadors of the regions they visit. They are also there to ensure safety during excursions and landings in Zodiac boats. They set off on scouting missions, prepare meticulously for every excursion, supervise and ensure the safety of passengers, etc. On PONANT expedition cruises in partnership with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, a photographer and a National Geographic expert are also on board to share their passion for the destination visited.
Are the boardings and landings in Zodiac boats accessible to everyone?
We do everything we can to make these expeditions accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and reduced mobility.
What activities are offered on board?
PONANT expedition cruises are an opportunity to meet experts from the region visited, to attend their conferences and to talk with them after their presentations or during more informal discussions. On board, it is also possible to take advantage of our well-being areas such as the spa, the hair salon and the gym, or the library and the various shared areas of the ship. Screenings in the Theatre, cooking demonstrations and tastings are regularly organised. For more information on the activities offered on board our ships, please consult the "Leisure and activities" section of our FAQs.
Is access to the bridge possible both by day and by night?
The Captains of PONANT ships are committed to providing you with the real feel of an expedition. They take every opportunity to ensure you experience unforgettable moments, for example, an unexpected sighting of whales from the decks of the ship. The bridge is thus accessible to passengers, as long as the weather and safety conditions allow.
What is a pre- or post-programme?
Pre- and post-programmes allow you to anticipate or to extend your cruise with optional organised programmes. From half-a-day to several days, they offer you the possibility to discover the region even more through exciting visits, without having to worry about the logistics (flights, meals, hotels, guides etc.)
When can I reserve my pre- and post-programmes?
The pre- and post-programmes, whether they take place before or after the cruise, should always be reserved before departure. Discuss the options with your Trip Advisor.
How can I access my cabin?
One (or more) key cards will be distributed to you per cabin. This will allow you to open your cabin or to lock it when you leave. On all the ships, you just have to close your door for it to lock behind you. Therefore, be sure not to leave your key card inside when you leave your cabin.
Is there air-conditioning in my cabin?
There is air-conditioning in every cabin. It can be individually adjusted. Your Cabin Officer will be there if you need help setting the desired temperature.
Is there a television in my cabin?
There is a flat screen television in every cabin, with satellite channels.
Is there a safe in my cabin?
There is an individual safe in each cabin, where you can leave your valuables. For high value items, we advise you to use the main safe. This can be accessed at reception.
What equipment is available in my stateroom?
Beginning with you arrival in your staterooms, PONANT offers a bathrobe, slippers, towels & HERMES toiletries.
Do all cabins and suites have a private balcony or a terrace with sea views?
All cabins and suites on our Sisterships, our PONANT Explorers and Le Commandant Charcot have a private balcony or a terrace with views out over the sea, with the exception of the seven superior category cabins located on deck three of the Sisterships vessels, namely cabin 300, which simply has a porthole, and cabins 301 to 307, which each have a large square window. On our sailing ship Le Ponant, a luxury yacht with just 16 cabins and suites, all the cabins and suites located on the Antigua and Saint-Barth decks each have a large private balcony with views out over the sea. The cabins located on the Marie-Galante deck have either portholes or large square windows.
Are there any interconnecting staterooms? What is the difference between a prestige stateroom and a prestige suite?
Onboard our sister ships (Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial) as well as the PONANT Explorers, there is a door between some prestige staterooms to transform them into prestige suites. On the layouts of our ships (available at the end of the brochure as well as on our Internet site on the tab "Our ships"), all prestige staterooms with an arrow across them can be transformed into prestige suites.
For security reasons when at sea, the door is locked in the opened or closed position and cannot be opened by guests. If two prestige staterooms have been purchased as a suite, the door between them is unlocked and cannot be closed. For more information on the plans of our vessels, contact our Information & Booking Service here .
Can I get stateroom service?
On each of our ships, you can enjoy room service at any hour of the day and night (except at night on Le Ponant). A butler service is also available to passengers:
- on the sister ships: for passengers staying in one of the staterooms on deck 6,
- on the PONANT Explorers: for passengers staying in one of the two large suites located to the rear of deck 5.
Discover our 5-star services here .
Can I exchange currency on board?
No, there is no Bureau de Change on board our ships. We advise you to exchange your currency through your bank or at an international airport.
How are my on-board expenses handled?
An account will be opened for you when you first board the ship for any expenses you make whilst on board: for example, at the boutique, premium drinks at the bar, using the laundry service, or for excursions.
We invite you to leave an imprint of your credit card at reception. The bill, along with the receipt of your card payment, will be left in your cabin the day before disembarkation. As the on-board accounts are closed on the day before disembarkation, any further payment after 10 pm on this day will have to be made in cash. This also applies to those who have reserved two or more consecutive cruises.
What is the on-board currency?
The currency on board is the Euro, but the US Dollar is also accepted.
What methods of payment are accepted on board?
Credit cards (Visa, EuroCard/Master Card and American Express), cash and personal cheques (in EUR and USD only) are accepted.
What leisure activities are there on board?
On board our fleet, you will find games consoles (Wii™ and PS4) and a choice of books and board games. The library (except on Le Ponant) is also equipped with Wi-Fi connected computers. On the lower deck there is an image and photography area. The cabins of all of our ships are equipped with Video on Demand.
Can I practice a sport activity on board?
In order to maintain your fitness, and following the program of stopovers in your itinerary, mild fitness sessions will be offered to you during your cruise. If navigation and weather permit, guests can take a dip in the swimming pool of our sister ships and our PONANT explorers, or directly in the clear waters traversed by your vessel. Some stopovers will allow you to practice fee-based activities such as tennis, golf and SCUBA diving (remember to bring your licenses, handicap cards or dive logs). Finally, all our ships have a fitness room, with the exception of Le Ponant. Find here the details of our equipment.
Are any activities organised on board?
Informative presentations may be organised during the day. A varied and entertaining programme of cultural and fun activities is on offer every evening.
What are the relaxation areas on board?
For your greater comfort, PONANT offers various relaxation areas on board: on Le Ponant, you can enjoy a solarium, deck chairs, bars, lounges, leisure spaces and a boutique. on our other ships, you can enjoy lounges, a spa with massage staterooms and a steam room, a hair salon, a fitness room, a swimming pool, a theater and a boutique. Discover all the relaxation areas on board our ships here .
What are the Spa fees?
Discover the all of the services offered and their fees here .
Can I make an appointment at the spa before my departure?
We advise all our passengers to book their benefits at the spa after they are settled on board. It is not possible to make a reservation before your departure.
Is the swimming pool heated?
Our ships Le Boreal, Le Soléal, L'Austral, Le Lyrial offer an outdoor swimming pool. The water is heated sea water.
Where can I find a layout of the vessel?
All the layouts of our ships are available on our Internet site, in the sub-tab "The Decks" under the heading "Our ships". You can also find the layout of each vessel in our downloadable brochures here .
Is it possible to visit one of your vessels?
For any question concerning the visiting our ships, kindly fill in the contact form here .
How do I find out more information about Le Commandant-Charcot?
What are your commitments in terms of sustainable tourism?
Sustainable development is enshrined in the company's articles of association and has been at the heart of the PONANT project since its inception. Founded over thirty years ago by committed sailors, the company was born out of a desire to share a passion for the oceans and the treasures of the Earth. This responsibility commits us to a respectful dialogue with the environment and the populations we meet and to investing in many fields related to the preservation and development of the natural and cultural heritage of the polar and oceanic regions.
To find out more about our commitments in terms of sustainable development and the PONANT Foundation, please visit our dedicated web page.
Is your fleet “green”?
We were among the first cruise operators in the world to abandon the use of heavy fuels, and our ships are equipped with electric diesel engines and SCR catalytic converters, which enable a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. Each time we design a new ship, we equip it with the latest available eco-technologies, enabling us to maintain our position as the cruise industry's environmental leader, ahead of international regulations in some areas. A commitment recognised by many independent organisations:
- Our entire fleet is Clean Ship certified by the Bureau Veritas. This certification guarantees that our ships fulfil very precise criteria: emissions levels, waste processing, waste water etc.
- In 2020, PONANT was recognised as “the cruise operator with the greenest fleet in the world in terms of airborne emissions” by the German NGO, NABU.
- PONANT was awarded the Prix des Palmes du Tourisme Durable 2020 (Prize for Sustainable Tourism) in the “Voyage” category for the elimination of heavy fuel oil in favour of LS MGO.
- In 2019, PONANT became the first European cruise company to obtain the North American Green Alliance certificate. This certifies that its members have adopted practices and technologies that are respectful towards the environment.
- PONANT is also a signatory of the Charte Bleue from Armateurs de France, which commits the maritime sector to act to protect the marine environment.
Do you have green propulsion projects lined up for the future?
Our future polar exploration ship, Le Commandant-Charcot, is a hybrid-electric vessel, propelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG enables a 25% reduction in carbon emissions, an 85% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 95% reduction in fine particle emissions. Our ships within the Sisterships series and the PONANT Explorers series are equipped with the latest technologies, which allow them to reduce their emissions. Thus, the ships within the PONANT Explorers series cut their rate of nitrogen dioxide emissions by a factor of 4, by keeping their catalytic converters activated 24/7, in all geographic areas. This measure is the only of its kind in the world and sets a benchmark within the industry.
What happens to the wastewater from your ships?
All of the wastewater is treated by means of processes that exclude the use of chemical products. The recycled water is used to clean the exterior of the ship. The water that is discharged into the sea is treated, drinkable water.
What do you do with the waste produced on board?
We have optimised our organisation in order to reduce waste at the source. Waste is nonetheless still produced on board. As of 2020, 60% of this is sorted and recycled, with an objective of 85% set for 2023. We ensure the complete traceability of this waste.
What is your position with regard to single-use plastics?
We have eliminated the use of single-use plastics (straws, cups, food serving trays, laundry bags etc.). A metallic flask is issued to each passenger on expedition cruises.
What is your relationship with the people groups you visit?
We work in close collaboration with local communities to plan your excursions. We are attentive to their wishes, their needs and their advice, with a view to, together, constructing a sustainable tourist industry. Created in 2018, the main goal of the PONANT Foundation is to promote dialogue with indigenous peoples, by supporting specific projects that aim to safeguard and showcase cultural heritage sites, while protecting and enriching them.
Are you considering offsetting atmospheric emissions linked to cruises?
All CO² emissions generated by our cruises are offset by 150%. To do this, we are contributing to concrete projects: the reforestation of the Amazon in the state of Pará in northern Brazil, with nearly 4 million trees planted, the production of wind energy in the state of Maharashtra, in western India, and photovoltaic energy production in several regions of India. These projects are certified by Verra Standards for a sustainable future, one of the two most reliable standards in the world. In addition to environmental issues, these projects aim to provide support to local communities by establishing sustainable jobs in these regions and in particular by developing access to healthcare and education.
How do you respond to those who criticise expeditions, in particular in the Arctic and Antarctic territories?
Our cruises are in keeping with the desire to “travel less, but travel better”. We believe that we can better protect that which with which we are familiar. In bringing our passengers to the ends of the Earth, we encourage them to become genuine ambassadors, who work to encourage respect for these regions. Because we follow strict rules, in particular when it comes to expedition cruises, our impact is minimal and temporary. “All that remains as a result of our passing through are footprints in the snow,” says Nicolas Dubreuil, expert in polar and tropical expeditions & Sustainable Development Director.
Our membership of the IAATO and AECO associations, which regulate the practices of tourism stakeholders in the polar regions, commits us to adhere to strict protocols to ensure the preservation of these sensitive ecosystems and their biodiversity.
To learn more about our polar and tropical expeditions, please visit our dedicated web page.
Is there a dress code on board the ships?
We advise our passengers to wear casual and elegant outfits at their convenience, and more formal attire for the Captain's Dinner.
What clothes do I need to bring on an expedition cruise?
On an expedition cruise, be sure to bring practical clothes as well as comfortable shoes suitable for travelling in Zodiacs and disembarking on beaches or mud flats. On tropical expeditions be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses and long sleeved/legged clothing. For cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic, you will be given a polar parka in your size and suitable boots will be available for use when ashore.
How do meals work?
Breakfast is a buffet that can be eaten at the restaurant or requested in your cabin. Lunch is also a buffet, and a French-style à la carte dinner will be served in the evening. Room service is available 24/7 (except on Le Ponant).
Can I have a snack outside of meal times?
Yes, outside the opening hours of the restaurant, tea and small pastries will be on offer. More details will be given in the newsletter provided each evening in your cabin.
What is the Open Bar?
From embarkation and throughout the cruise, unlimited complimentary drinks* are served. We call this the Open Bar. This also applies to drinks from the minibar and those served by room service.
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* Hors boissons alcoolisées premium présentées à la carte
What menu is offered on board?
Our chefs and their brigade interpret and share with our passengers their passion for the French culinary heritage, enriched with the products and traditions of the countries visited. Our menus are constantly renewed according to the destination and the route chosen. On our mega yachts, two restaurants welcome you according to your wishes, the gourmet restaurant and the grill restaurant. Learn more about the on-board gastronomy here .
Do dinners vary on long or consecutive cruises?
Our chefs and their teams offer a varied menu every day. The breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style and feature a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes, as well as bread baked daily by our on-board French baker.
Here is what other passengers had to say: “There is so much choice between the two restaurants and the menu that you will always find something different as well as new recipes.”
Do I need a medical certificate to take a cruise?
A medical file is requested for Antarctic cruises, in the sub-Antarctic regions, traversing the Northwest Passage and for all trips at sea.
Are vaccines necessary to go on a cruise?
When you visit certain destinations, vaccines can be recommended. Once you have made your reservation, we will send you all the important information so that you can begin your cruise with peace of mind. It is worthwhile contacting your medical advisors before you travel as they will have access to the latest information. If you would like to know more about a destination, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can give you some invaluable advice.
Is there a doctor on board?
- The schedules of consultation are listed each day in the log book (emergency consultation 24/7).
- The sister ships and PONANT Explorers also have a hospital for any small surgery.
- During the excursions, the passengers are accompanied by a doctor or a nurse.
- There is a fee for consultations on board . The price may vary according to the time and place of the consultation (hospital orst aterooms). You must also pay for medications.
- The doctor on board is not authorized to distribute sick leaves and prescriptions. Only accounts and invoices are provided which may be used by the passenger to obtain a refund from his/her health insurance if his/her contract allows.
There is a doctor on board available to the passengers on all our ships:
Do I have to pay for medical consultations on board?
There is a charge for medical consultations undertaken by the doctor or nurse on board. The price can vary according to the time and place of the consultation (hospital or cabin). Any medication must also be paid for by the passenger. If using medications on a regular basis make sure to bring adequate supplies for the duration of your cruise.
Should I inform PONANT if I have any special medical treatment?
If you have any special treatment, we ask you to inform the reservation service when you register for the cruise, to note it on the information sheet before departure, then inform the on-board crew at the moment of departure and always keep your medication with you for the duration of the cruise.
I suffer from seasickness, can I still come on the cruise?
Our ships (except Le Ponant) have stabilisers equipped with dynamic fins which adapt to the movements of the ship. This system allows the ship to anticipate and compensate for the pitching and tossing of the sea to achieve greater stability. Passengers suffering from seasickness will see their symptoms alleviated and are pleasantly surprised to not feel uncomfortable during their journey. However it is wise to bring travel motion medication with you for peace of mind.
Are the PONANT ships adapted to suit those with reduced mobility?
Our sister ships and PONANT EXPLORERS were designed for people with reduced mobility in mind:
- Specially designed cabins;
- Access ramps allowing easy movement in communal areas;
- Posters, signage and cabin numbers are translated into Braille.
Despite these arrangements, each passenger should be able to be independent or travel with a close family member or friend who can give them whatever assistance they require during their trip.
If a person has not been judged suitably fit for travel in complete safety, the company reserves the right to refuse their embarkation. Disembarkation in difficult places or in a Zodiac® is subject to the approval of the Captain, who will always have the safety and wellbeing of the passenger in mind.
Are electrical outlets available in the common areas?
Electrical outlets are available to our passengers in the common areas.
What services are on offer on board?
On board our vessels you can enjoy the following services:
- Reception desk 24/7 on our sister ships & PONANT Explorers, and 7:00AM to 11:00PM on Le Ponant,
- Customer Service Office,
- Excursions Office,
- Breakfast in your stateroom,
- Butler service reserved to our passengers traveling in the suites of Deck 6 of the sister ships and the two large rear suites on Deck 5 on the PONANT Explorers,
- Stateroom service (Free & available 24/7),
- Wake-up service,
- Fitness room (aboard the sister ships only),
- Photography/video service,
- Postal service,
What languages are spoken on board?
The crew are bilingual in French and English. All signage and announcements made are in French and English. On certain cruises, crew members also speak other languages.
May I bring one or more children on board?
Children under one year of age shall not be authorised to embark on the ships.
For children aged between 1 and 8 years old, an authorisation to board the ship must be made in writing to PONANT. Subject to agreement, a liability waiver must be completed and returned to the company to validate the registration.
On classic cruises ("yachting"), children are accepted from the age of one, with a maximum of 5 children between 1 and 6 years old on board.
On "expedition" cruises children are accepted from 6 years old (except cruises aboard Le Commandant Charcot) and must be fully independent during all the outside activities organised and during disembarkation in rubber boats, be sufficiently tall to sit on the inflatable sides of the boats, and old enough to understand, and immediately respond to the orders given by the persons in charge. As a result, children's participation in any activity in an inflatable boat shall be subject to the agreement of the Captain and of the Expedition Head, depending on the sea conditions, and the difficulty of disembarking at each location visited. The ships do not carry Parka’s in children’s sizes. Parents must arrange to bring a suitable Parka for children. In all cases, children and young people under the age of 18 are at all times on board or on land under the full and total responsibility of their parents or carers.
For all "expedition" cruises on board Le Commandant Charcot, children are accepted from 8 years old only.
Children aged 4 years or more can be welcomed in the Kid's Club when the service is offered on board (consult the list of cruises concerned ).
I am travelling alone, will I feel integrated with the other passengers? Is there a good atmosphere?
On board, each space has been designed with the wishes of everybody in mind. There are places where your privacy is respected, and other places where you can pass the time together with others.
Here is what other passengers had to say:
"I have been on a cruise once with other people, and once, recently, by myself in Patagonia. I can assure you that they were largely as good as each other. The atmosphere is very pleasant, from the Captain and his crew, to the very attentive staff, and finally the other passengers who were all very friendly. All sorts of activities were on offer where you could alternate learning or cultural sessions with rest times if you wanted to. Personally, I never got bored. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female, I would go for it. It's an adventure where you'll make some amazing memories". Single guest, member of PONANT community.
Join the community.
Are animals allowed on board?
For reasons of hygiene and safety, animals are not allowed on board.
Are onboard power sockets European standard?
Yes, the 220 volt 50 hertz alternating current is distributed by sockets meeting European standards. Onboard power is 200 volt AC (European standard) and 110 volt AC (North American standard). For safety reasons, hair irons and clothes irons cannot be used in cabins. Please note that on Le Ponant, 110 volt AC is only available in cabin bathrooms.
Are power adapters provided?
Adapters are provided on board, they are available at the reception office of our ships.
Is smoking allowed on board?
Closed spaces such as the lounges, the dining room, the cabins and the reception are non-smoking areas. We invite you to smoke in designated outdoor parts of the ship.
Are tips obligatory?
Bonuses for the staff is one of the customs of cruise ships and are left to your discretion. An anonymous envelope is left in your cabin at the end of your cruise. You can leave it at reception in a box provided. This sum is generally in the range of €10-12 per day per passenger. It is then divided between the members of the crew.
Is there a laundry service on the ships?
Yes, your Cabin Officer will be able to take care of your laundry**. The washing and ironing of your clothes will take between 24 and 48 hours. Only ironing** can be delivered on the same day. As dry-cleaning is not possible on the ship, please only give us clothes that can be washed in water.
** Ces prestations sont payantes et facturées directement sur le compte de votre cabine
Is it possible to make purchases on board?
Gifts and souvenirs can be bought on board at our boutique. Please note that the law does not allow us to open the boutique whilst we are docked at a port of call.
Can I send letters during my cruise?
You may leave letters and postcards at Reception and they will be posted for you. Please note your cabin number where you would normally place the stamp. The postage fee will be added to your account.
Is a telephone service available on board?
A satellite telephone system is at your disposal for contacting anyone, anywhere in the world. The cost of the call is added to the cabin account (€6/minute). Calls that you receive can be transferred directly to your cabin or to any other communal area on the ship. To receive or send faxes, please see Reception.
Is internet access available on board?
Free Wi-Fi internet access is available on all of our ships, in both the cabins and the communal areas. One or several computers are at your disposal in the recreation centres. Please note that the Wi-Fi connection may be discontinued depending on the navigation area and landscapes that may block the vessel from satellite coverage, especially at high latitudes (no connection possible beyond 80° North or South), or for technical reasons beyond our control.
I no longer wish to receive email from PONANT, how do I request that?
If you no longer want to receive electronic communication from PONANT, please click on the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of one of the emails that has been sent to you.
How can I contact PONANT?
How can I change the language of the site?
The site is accessible in English, French and German. If you want to change the language, you simply select FR, EN, or DE by clicking on the button located at the top right of your screen and placed to the side of the button to request enrollment in our newsletter.