ITTN’s Shane Cullen reports from the road, this time en route to the Ponant inaugural seminar at sea – a three-day cruise from Dover in the south of England to Bergen on the west coast of Norway and back.
The group will board one of the Ponant Explorers series, “Le Champlain”. This is one of the 13 vessels in the Ponant fleet. There are 92 cabins and suites onboard that embody the PONANT spirit, “combining delicacy, intimacy and well-being”. The 131m long ship can host up to 184 passengers.
The luxury French cruise line company has existed for 34 years and was created by a group of French merchant navy officers and captains. Headquartered in Marseille, the company has 9 offices worldwide.
Arriving on board, the first sneak peek is my luxurious cabin. Its French influence is detailed in the impeccable style of the decor. The space is beautifully crafted with style and calm elegance – the furnishings, lighting, artwork and finishing touches highlight the thought and design of each feature. This is a very high-end luxury without an ounce of ostentatious glitz. Even the crew uniforms, immaculate crisp white shirts, scarves and navy jackets enforce a theme of understated excellence.
I am almost sorry to be on board. It may, in fact, ruin cruises for me – the way having flown first class makes flying economy lack the lustre it had before I knew better.