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No Antarctica this season for Ponant, 2021 French coasts reprise likely

PHOTO: ©PHILIPPE PLISSON CRUISE_Le_Bougainville_by_Philippe_Plisson.jpg
All Ponant ships are currently paused, including Le Bougainville, shown here
With all its ships alongside or in drydock, Ponant is taking this time to carefully analyze its 2021 deployment.

The Marseille-based French luxury company suspended its 2020/21 Antarctica season, like everyone else.

'Our teams are now concentrating on future routes for our ships, taking into account the fluctuating global context. When necessary, we shall adjust our cruises, itineraries and positionings. In the next weeks, we should have a vision of the situation that's as realistic as possible,' said Hervé Bellaiche, chief sales and marketing officer.

French cruises should be back in 2021

Among the options for next year, the five French coastal itineraries that operated last summer from July 11 were 'quite successful,' according to Bellaiche. Ponant will likely reprise them next summer and is working to refine and enrich them.

Where the fleet is now

Currently, L'Austral, Le Lyrial, Le Champlain, Le Bellot and Le Jacques Cartier are docked at Marseille. Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d'Urville are at Caen.

In French Polynesia, Le Boréal is alongside in Raiatea, while Paul Gauguin and Le Soléal are docked at Papeete.

Le Lapérouse is in drydock in Singapore, and the emblematic Le Ponant is in Genoa for refurbishment at San Giorgio del Porto.

Each docked ship has about 20 people on board for maintenance.    

Construction of Le Commandant-Charcot continues at Vard Søviknes in Norway.