Compagnie Du Ponant Welcomes Le Soleal

French small-ship line Compagnie du Ponant has taken delivery of its third luxury yacht, Le Soleal. Her godmother, Kiki Tauck Mahar, joined company officials and other dignitaries in Venice over the weekend for the maiden voyage.


Built by Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri, the vessel is designed to offer passengers a unique yachting experience and becomes the line’s new flagship. At 142 meters long and 18 meters wide, she provides more flexibility in navigating smaller waterways inaccessible to larger vessels and accommodates more than 260 passengers in 132 cabins and suites.


Passengers will notice the lighter shade of gray on the hull of Le Soleal that differs her from sisters L’Austral and Le Boreal. Inside, her public rooms have been designed entirely with products and craftsmen selected by Fincantieri, featuring the latest-generation energy-saving Italian lighting system. Classified for navigation in polar and sub-polar regions, she is also a certified Clean Ship for her reduced environmental impact, noise and vibrations.


For her inaugural season, Le Soleal will spend time cruising Arctic waters, visiting Greenland and Iceland before charting a course for the Kuril Islands of the Russian far east. She spends winter in warmer Southeast Asian waters, heading west towards Muscat in late March 2013.


Based in Marseille, Compagnie du Ponant now boasts a fleet of 4 cruise ships targeting the luxury market. Founded in 1988, the company works closely with specialty tour operator Tauck, which is offering 7 itineraries onboard its ships this year.


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