HomeCruise NewsPonant's Le Boréal Welcomes Travel & Media Guests in Dublin

Ponant’s Le Boréal Welcomes Travel & Media Guests in Dublin

Ponant is a multi-award-winning Luxury Boutique Cruise Line, cruising all around the world and in partnership with the likes of Smithsonian Journeys. It’s always fully bilingual – French and English. Furthermore, Ponant also has Paul Gauguin Cruises in their portfolio.

ITTN Interviews Danny Giles of Ponant

Shane Cullen interviews Danny Giles (Sales Manager, North, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland) onboard Ponant’s stunning ship, Le Boréal which was berthed alongside the Tom Clark Bridge in Dublin Port last week. Le Boréal is one of four sisterships L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial. She has 132 staterooms and suites with a guest capacity of 264 persons. She stretches 466 feet and is 59 feet wide.

Danny Giles & Shane Cullen onboard Le Boreal

Le Boréal in Dublin Port

Shane: “Tell us a little about today’s ship?”

Danny: “It is super exciting to be able to bring another ship into Dublin Port, right into Dublin which I think is really important, right within the eye line of the rest of the city”.

With a bird’s eye view of the IFSC and Grand Canal Dock on either side and the length of the Liffey showcasing Dublin in the rare May sunshine.

Ponant - Le Boreal
Onboard Ponant - Le Boreal

“It’s a great turnout as well, a mix of agents that have come along to see what we have to offer. The good thing about this particular ship is it’s one of four sister ships so it’s an expedition Antarctica, an Arctic vessel as well as what we call luxury yachting experience.”

“So, we do Venice, we do the Med, we do Japan and Asia and places like that as well so it is super exciting. This type of vessel is actually the oldest of the fleet outside of the yacht but they have all been refitted and they are all really fresh-looking. It’s appreciated [by the guests] that the ships feel almost brand new.”

Onboard Ponant's Le Boreal in Dublin

“They are a small vessel and we’re very clever with the way that we decorate them to bring as much light as possible… We were very fortunate with it.”

“It’s been a great opportunity to bring this product to life because people always hear you talk about it and will say, ‘he’s biased, he works for the company‘ and, of course, I’m going to say that but I wouldn’t if I didn’t believe in it. I think, for those that have experienced it today, they have certainly seen what I’ve been saying to them over the last few months, the past year, etc. It’s true.”

The All-Inclusive Offering Just Got Better

Shane: It’s brilliant because it’s not a massive ship, so you can really get a good feel for it in just a couple of hours. And the Ponant Experience, it is all-inclusive. It is all the Champagne. It’s that amazing French cuisine.”

Danny: “It is becoming more inclusive… the open bar policy is that gratuities are included, the Wi-Fi is included and from winter this year, 2024/2025 onwards, we will be including excursions as well.”

Onboard Ponant's Le Boreal in Dublin

“So this is summer, they’re not included from the winter onwards and going forward excursions will be included. And the good thing about that is those excursions that are included are the same ones that we’re offering this year.”

“Guests will be able to choose not just one, there’ll be a couple of choices and they’ll be able to pick the port where they are included.”

“So that price point, when they see it, they’ve got to understand that it includes everything. And, of course, on paper we will always look more expensive than a larger vessel and by larger, I mean Silversea, Regency… because they’re bigger than us but let alone your MSCs, your Norwegians, your Princesses and the Royal Caribbeans of the world, by the time you add on your Wi-Fi, your drinks, excursions to that you’re coming in at a price point with us but you’re only going to be mixing with 220 passengers compared to three thousand, four thousand, five thousand and seven thousand obviously on the big one.”

In relation to the size, explained Danny, “that allows us to do those unique ports coming to Dublin. We don’t have the dock out in Dublin Bay and tender. We can sail in and out of Venice. We can dock outside of Dubrovnik. And again, we have our own tenders, we have our own zodiacs, so it gives us that flexibility.”

Accommodation Onboard Ponant's Le Boreal in Dublin

Shane: “I remember that time before, when I was on Seminar at Sea onboard Le Champlain, being able to dock right into Bergen, it was just amazing stepping off the ship and seeing that sight, the street of multicoloured houses, you are right in the heart of it.”

Danny: “And if everybody was getting off the ship at the same time, it would take five minutes because there’s only 200 people whereas if you try and do that on a big ship, it’s not very possible.”

Accommodation Onboard Ponant's Le Boreal

Launch of the Spirit of Ponant

Danny explained, “The big news, obviously, for us at the moment is that we just launched the Spirit of Ponant which will be bookable soon. We’ve got the prices now out for our 7-night sailings around Seychelles this winter.”

The latest addition to Ponant’s fleet is the Spirit of Ponant, a 24m maxi-catamaran with six staterooms offering a unique sailing experience. With up to 12 guests and four crew including a chef, the Spirit of Ponant combines the pleasures of sailing with all the refinements and personalised service that are the hallmarks of Ponant voyages.

The yacht is being launched in June 2024 and will spend the summer in Corsica, France, before heading to the Seychelles for winter 2025.

The itinerary is developed based on the Captain’s recommendations and what the guests would like to do. PONANT’s gastronomy, wine cellar and signature cocktails, room service, and nautical activities (paddleboarding, wakeboarding, snorkelling…) are all included.

“Leading in at just c. €8,500 per person, that’s 12 passengers, and that is fully inclusive – water sports, touring, everything on there. There are sample itineraries but if you have a group that’s going to take the whole catamaran it is the captain who decides where they want to sail.” explained Danny.

For More on Ponant

For more on Ponant, check out ITTN’s Shane Cullen when he sailed onboard Le Champlain at the inaugural Seminar at Sea:

Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen
Shane Cullen has been managing director of a media production studio for nearly 20 years working on projects for a global clientele. He has worked in the travel industry for over a decade and as a travel journalist since 2015. He is passionate about travel, film & photography. He also has a keen interest in emerging technology.

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