Compagnie du Ponant, the luxury yacht cruise line, unveils its newest color brochure

Compagnie du Ponant, the luxury yacht cruise line, has unveiled its newest brochure, detailing a wide range of winter 2011-2012 sailings to six of the world’s seven continents. The 128-page full color brochure’s layout features a fresh look and is now organized by destination to make it easier to find the region of most interest to the reader.

To celebrate the brochure release, Compagnie du Ponant is offering a $400 per stateroom shipboard credit for new guests booking by May 31, 2011 – based on double occupancy. All brochures are available at the company’s user-friendly web site, www.ponant.com/en, by download, as a PDF online or mailed.

Ponant’s philosophy is front and center in the offerings: small ship cruising (64 to 264 guests) with a bit of French flavor, designed for the traveler who prefers to explore off-the-beaten­-path, unspoiled destinations, especially those out of sight of the large ship masses. Never one to sit on their successful laurels, Compagnie du Ponant continues to develop new itineraries – as well as offer a company first next winter: the two newest jewels of the yacht fleet, the luxurious 264-passenger Le Boréal and L’Austral, will sail the waters of Antarctica at the same time, exploring one of the world’s most remote regions.

The list of new port visits by L’Austral reads like the bucket list of a South Pacific aficionado — Polynesia, Easter Island, Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and numerous others — while Le Boréal heads off to find new playgrounds in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including Valparaiso, St. Martin, Caracas and Ponta Delgada. The equally well-appointed 226-passenger Le Diamant ventures off to the distant mystique of the Far East, impressing the guests with stops in Vietnam, China, Borneo, Japan and the Philippines.

The intimate 90-passenger Le Levant travels from the world of antiquities, with sailings in Greece and Egypt, to the New World, taking in the northern countries of South America as well as the Caribbean, before heading back to enjoy spring in the Mediterranean. The company’s three-mast sailing vessel, the 64-passenger Le Ponant, slowly makes its way from the crystal clear waters of the island nation Maldives to the exotic lands of India and Thailand.

Just as important to the guests’ experience as they trek around the world, is the on-board environment. The company prides itself on its discrete personalized service, assured with a staff to guest ratio of 1:2, delicious cuisine – both haute and country French , stylish accommodations, elegant design, expansive sun decks and open-air restaurants. All the vessels save Le Ponant have beauty and fitness areas with either a sauna or massage room; the newest yachts, Le Boreal and L’Austral, have fully equipped spas, in association with French brands Carita and Sothys. Naturalists and lecturers come along on many of the sailings, offering guests the opportunity to take home both wonderful memories and an abundance of new knowledge.

Whether it is the thoughtfully selected itineraries, cruising under sail (Le Ponant), the use of eco-friendly hull coatings, getting to know and work with local communities, and raising the awareness of the passengers on being responsible travelers, Compagnie du Ponant is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. Le Boréal has the “Green Ship” label (L’Austral is expected to receive it after its launch) for their advanced waste water treatment, reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions. The mega yachts’ dynamic positioning means no anchor will destroy coral reefs or sea beds. The optimal underwater detection system avoids collision with whales and ice floes.

Included in all sailings are selected accommodations, all meals (wine, beer and soda during meals included), entertainment, excursions, Captain’s welcome and farewell parties and 24-hour room service. Lectures, guides, naturalists and expedition leaders are included on select sailings. Port charges/taxes, gratuities and transfers are additional.

Established in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and Philippe Videau, Compagnie du Ponant launched its first vessel, Le Ponant in 1991. Le Levant was added in 1998, and Le Diamant joined the fleet in 2004. Le Boréal sets sail in May 2010 and its sister ship, L’Austral, is being christened and launching in April 2011. Compagnie du Ponant is a division of CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group.

Compagnie du Ponant’s North American sales office is located at: 2 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2000, Miami, Florida 33131. For reservations and further information, call: 1-305-398-9849 or toll free: 1-888-400-1082; fax: 1-877-533-3043; email: USreservations@ponant.com or go to www.ponant.com.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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