In appreciation for the overwhelming response to Compagnie du Ponant’s 2011 marketing and sales efforts – more than doubling their North American consumer bookings last year – the company is responding during the popular “Wave Season” with “La Grande Invitation” – an array of extra-special incentives for 2012 bookings. Whether the traveler is looking to explore the remote shores of Antarctica, where thousands of ‘tuxedo-dressed’ penguins greet the guests; the unspoiled ports along the Dalmatian coast with its stunning landscape, hidden bays and ancient towns; the sun-swept beaches of the Caribbean; or just accrue some R&R “Down Under,” the luxury yachts of Compagnie du Ponant encompass the intimacy of a private yacht with all the accompanying amenities, top-notch service and gourmet meals. Guests save up to $3,230 per stateroom as well as receive a $500 air credit and complimentary “Open Beverage and Spirits” package valued at $630 (both per stateroom) when booking any 2012 departure by April 15. Both agents and clients are eligible to win an iPad.
With upwards of 450 cruise itineraries in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, Asia and Southern India, the South Pacific, Canada, the Americas, the “Celtic Lands” and Antarctica as well as the extreme northern hemisphere – including Spitsbergen, Greenland and the Nunavut Territory – Ponant has an option for everyone. Guests can take in the ten ports on the 11-day “Venice to Venice” sailing including Otranto, Italy where the melding of Christian, Byzantine and Romanesque influence is illustrated in the magnificent Cathedral and its mosaic floor, the red-roofed town of Kor?ula, and Trogir, a Croatian gem; be awed by the stunning glaciers, mammoth icebergs, breathtaking tundra and up-close experiences with penguin colonies on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to Antarctica; or visit Tromsø, known as “The Paris of the North,” on a 13-day venture from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq. Or explore several French and Australian treasures, such as the Isle of Pines, nicknamed l’île la plus proche du paradis (“the closest island to paradise”), and the Great Barrier Reef on a 15-day “Noumea – Darwin” itinerary tour; visit exclusive ports of call and moorings in Corsica; take in Sicily; explore the Meteora Monasteries on a Greek “Athens to Istanbul” cruise; and visit the sheltered coves, shipping ports and lush green meadows of Cornwall on a 13-day United Kingdom exploration that sails round-trip from Saint Malo.
The themed cruise line-up welcomes several new additions: a six-day Gourmet Cuisine cruise developed by Food & Wine of France from Honfleur to Copenhagen featuring Michelin-starred restaurant chefs and world-ranked sommeliers; a 12-day Family Cruise to Celtic Lands, where parents and children can search for the elusive Loch Ness Monster; and the eight-day Bel Canto Cruise, an Opera enthusiast’s dream in the Adriatic Sea. A number of popular options from 2011 continue to be offered in 2012: music lovers have their choice of the 13-day Symphonic Cruise featuring performances by upcoming classical music stars; the 12-day Opera Cruise between Suez and Venice, which takes in several UNESCO World Heritage Sites; or a 10-night foray between Venice and Athens with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra at center stage. The nine-night Golf Cruise, sailing round-trip from Nice, takes in scenic golf courses such as Pevero Golf Club in the North West of Sardinia and Mougins Golf Country Club in Cannes.
Included in all sailings are all meals, accompanied by wine, beer and soda; Captain’s welcome, cocktail parties and gala dinner; 24-hour room service; and all entertainment, events and shows as indicated within the itinerary. Port charges/taxes, gratuities, optional excursions and transfers are additional.