first_imgGo back to the enewsletterSydney welcomed the arrival of one of the world’s youngest ships, PONANT’s small luxury expedition ship, Le Lapérouse, on Friday 8 February 2019.Launched in July 2018, bucking the current worldwide trend to build ever-larger ships, Le Lapérouse features just 92 staterooms and suites, yet lacks nothing in the way of luxurious appointments and facilities, including a Jules Verne-like world first, Blue Eye, an underwater observation lounge perfect for viewing and listening to surrounding marine life.The inaugural visit of Le Lapérouse included Sydney Harbour, initially at Circular Quay then relocating to moor off Point Piper, before sailing off for New Zealand, Melanesia and the Kimberley coast before, in September, heading north for voyages in Asia.Ice-rated and environmentally sensitive, Le Lapérouse is designed to take guests to the four corners of the world, often probing deep into river systems, mooring in small bays or visiting ancient harbours simply not accessible to large ships.“There is an intimacy to PONANT’s signature luxury and expedition cruising style that is beguiling,” says Monique Ponfoort, Vice President, PONANT Asia Pacific.“Le Lapérouse offers guests a relaxed ambience. Chic French touches abound, a subtle blend of elegance and conviviality: Veuve Clicquot champagne, Ducasse Conseil gastronomy, Pierre Frey fabrics, fragrances by Fragonard, an irresistible Sothys spa, Hermès bath products in each cabin.” It’s a far cry from the privations that French explorer Jean-Francois de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse, would have been used to in 1788 when he arrived in Botany Bay, just six days after the arrival of the First Fleet of convicts.There is an appropriate link between the navigator and PONANT’s new ship, Le Lapérouse. The Comte de Lapérouse was an extraordinary navigator whose voyages took him to North America (during the American Revolution), Hudson Bay, Alaska, Cape Horn, the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii), Easter Island, San Francisco, Macau, Manila, Japan, the Russian Far East, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Norfolk Island and Botany Bay … many of the destinations that Le Lapérouse and the rest of the fleet will visit in time.“Building on our position of having the youngest fleet in the world, we are expanding our unique luxury expedition cruise concept with the arrival of six new PONANT EXPLORERS. Le Lapérouse and Le Champlain joined the fleet in 2018, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville follow this year, with Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier in 2020.”Ponfoort expanded on the impact of PONANT’s growing fleet, saying: “Our current fleet of six modern ships, a classic three masted yacht and the new-builds, including a world-first luxury hybrid electric polar explorer under construction, provides us with a range of ships and destinations second to none.“Over 20 years of polar exploration has seen us rise to the world’s number one polar cruise company, taking more guests to the polar regions – north and south – than anyone else. Right now, for the southern summer season, we have four ships operating out of Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula.”“We have ships that explore the length and breadth of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea with a range of cruises that include Greek Islands, Sardinia and Sicily, all the way through to Ukraine. This year we introduced voyages to the Red Sea and expanded our itineraries to the Indian Ocean. We explore both coastlines of North and South America, Greenland and Iceland … if you are considering a small ship cruise, or an expedition in luxury, you really should consider PONANT.”See more photos from LATTE’s ship tour on our Facebook page HERE.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img

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