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Ponant Partners With National Geographic

1st October 2018

The only French cruise line, Ponant is still relatively niche with British cruisers despite sailing luxury yacht cruises all around the world since 1988, offering bilingual, all-inclusive sailings to Alaska, the Indian Ocean and even the Amazon River. Having said this, with National Geographic selecting Ponant as their partner cruise line, we are set to see Ponant emerge fully onto the already growing British cruise market

Beating off fierce competition from their competitors such as Seabourn and Silversea in a partnership said be worth around 200 million euros, National Geographic was impressed by Ponant’s upholding of the non-profit organisation’s three core principles of adventure, education, and conservation.

 

 

With their luxury explorer yachts named after famous French explores, Laperouse, Champlain, Bougainville, Dumont-D’Urville, Surville and Bellot, Ponant are trailblazers when it comes to adventure and expedition cruising. Their small yachts have hull draughts of less than five metres, meaning Ponant’s fleet of luxury yachts can go closer to nature than other ships. Plus their new icebreaker, le Charcot, is the world’s first officially classified, cruising icebreaker-class ship. Their fantastic Blue Eye lounge even lets you be immersed in nature while aboard the ships too. The multi-sensory lounge is located 2.5 metres below sea level, and features a window in each side of the ship to gaze through, as well as hydrophones, and vibrating furniture to pick up and immerse you in your surroundings.

Education also plays a large part of the Ponant cruise experience. To fully appreciate the wonders you are seeing each day, Ponant provides fantastic lectures and excursions led by expert guides. Now in partnership with National Geographic, many of these excursions and presentations will be hosted by one of National Geographic’s own naturalists and photographers. Ponant are also dedicated to the communities they work with around the world, and take pride in showing their guests the real lives of people who live at one with nature. Experiences include everything from local aboriginal dances in Australasia to cooking seal outdoors with a native Alaskan fisherman. The partnership with National Geographic gives these communities even more of a chance to flourish.

 

Conservation is another factor that’s important to Ponant, and influences the creation of their life-changing itineraries and the design of their yachts. With their new icebreaker, le Charcot, Ponant are the first line to not only have a genuine icebreaker, but also have a hybrid powered cruise yacht with liquid natural gas engine. The result is a noise and toxin pollutant-free sailing, a dynamic positioning system rather than anchors that destroy fragile seabed ecosystems, energy saving lighting, liquid refrigeration, and even pollutant free paint. Ponant and National Geographic share a mission of showing the present generation the wonders of our world, and preserving it for those in future.

The amazing sailings from 31 July 2018 will go to all corners of the planet, from the poles to the tropics. Check out our Ponant sailings with National Geographic and start your adventure here.


5 National Parks to See on a Cruise

14th May 2018

The fantastic range of options out there when it comes to cruising means that there is something perfect to suit just about everyone. Whether you’re after sea days with plenty of chances to relax, port-heavy itineraries on which you can explore new cultures, or the best cruises for wildlife, your ideal cruise holiday is waiting to be discovered. With this in mind, we wanted to explore another aspect which draws people on holiday – national parks. Here are our top 5 national parks to see on a cruise.

 

1 – Banff National Park, Canada

 

 

Situated in southeast Canada, Banff National Park is often included on Rocky Mountaineer adventures – a popular holiday experience combining the land and sea of Canada and Alaska (as seen on TV with Michael Portillo!). The train route transports you through some amazing scenery, and can include this stunning national park which is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site. See the sparkling waters of Moraine Lake, wildlife such as deer, chipmunks, wolves, and even bears, and not forgetting the commanding Rocky Mountains.

 

2 - Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

 

 

Found in the southwest corner of New Zealand’s South Island, Fiordland National Park is a popular stop on Australasia cruises. This diverse area of the country comprises mountains, valleys, lakes, fiords, and rainforest environments, all of which have helped to enable a fantastic range of species to thrive. At the heart of the park is Milford Sound; a vast and beautiful fiord which is surrounded by mountains including Mitre Peak, which is more than a mile in height.

 

3 – Chobe National Park, Botswana

 

 

On a river cruise on Africa’s Chobe River, you’ll be transported through the impressive and extensive Chobe National Park and its surrounding areas. Here resides Africa’s largest population of elephants, along with all sorts of other exciting wildlife. As well as the majestic elephants, you might see zebras, buffalo, warthogs, cheetahs, and lions to name a few. River cruise lines operating here offer some truly stunning river ships, including the African Dream by CroisiEurope, which has been designed with destination immersion thoroughly in mind.

 

4 – Denali National Park, Alaska

 

 

Towards the south of Alaska is the incredible Denali National Park, which stretches over approximately 6 million acres of land. This vast wilderness can be explored on a cruise to Alaska, and in fact Princess Cruises now boast a fantastic treehouse at their Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, where cruisers can relax and look out over the park. From here it’s possible to spot creatures like the magnificent brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves, and all kinds of bird life.

5 – Patagonia, Argentina & Chile

 

 

The awe-inspiring scenery in this part of the world is almost otherworldly. Few holidaymakers make the trip here but with cruising the journey can be simple and comfortable, and very rewarding. Travel in luxury with the likes of Silversea and Seabourn and be transported to a world of glassy ice fields, huge glaciers, and inspiring fjords. There are actually several protected national parks in this location, including the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares where you’ll find the staggering Glaciar Perito Moreno.


Hot vs Cold Cruising

2nd May 2018

With more and more choices of cruising styles and destinations becoming available, it can seem overwhelming when it comes to making a decision about where and when to go. Well, one of the first things that should be considered is what kind of holiday you’re looking for – a hot and sunny one with plenty of opportunities to swim and sunbathe, or a cold one with chances to explore new surroundings. Read on for our helpful overview of hot versus cold cruising.

Cruising in a Hot Destination

 

Where to go

There are plenty of sunny spots to choose from for your next cruise holiday. From popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, to more unusual places in South America, Africa, or Asia, there are places to suit everyone. When deciding, consider who you’re travelling with and what you’re looking for in a holiday. The Mediterranean can be great for families who only want short flights - or even no flights at all - whereas the Caribbean is wonderful for couples looking to relax and recharge. On the other hand, if you’re after a bit of adventure you could opt for an enriching itinerary in Peru which includes Macchu Picchu, or an exciting experience on the Mekong River taking in Cambodia and Vietnam.

 

What to pack

No matter where you decide to go on your hot weather cruise holiday, there are some must-pack items that it’s important not to forget;

  • Sun cream
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle – ideally foldable
  • Scarf/shawl – for covering up from the sun and at attractions if required
  • Flip Flops or slider shoes for by the pool
  •  

    Cruising in a Cold Destination

     

    Where to go

    While hot destinations are often the more popular choice, cruise lines are now travelling to an abundance of cooler places all over the world. Adventurous cruisers have the chance to take on the elements on an expedition cruise in the Arctic and Antarctic, or those wanting to stay a little closer to home could enjoy a European river cruise wandering through the magical Christmas markets. Scandinavia also offers some wonderful cruising opportunities in the winter, for instance traversing the Norwegian fjords is on many a bucket list. Canada and Alaska cruises are also becoming more popular as more cruise ships are being designed to tackle the environment.

     

    What to pack

    When travelling in cold destinations it’s important to be prepared. When it comes to exploring the various ports or taking part in excursions – or even if you’ll be spending time on the deck – you’ll need the proper clothing. Consider packing the following;

     

  • Thermal layers – vests and leggings are helpful and take up little room in your suitcase
  • Winter boots – well-insulated boots are a must
  • Winter coat – ideally to the knee in length, and with a hood
  • Extra socks – both thin and thick; layering is key
  •  

    Armed with this information, the next step is to take a look at your own cruising wish list and determine exactly what you’re looking for. Both hot and cold cruises can deliver a fantastic range of experiences, so if you’re still none the wiser why not call our team for some great advice and to discuss your options. It might even be possible to create your own tailor-made cruise holiday, which offers both hot and cold destinations.


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