You will find frequently asked questions below.
For more information, contact us by clicking here.
What is included in the all-inclusive offer?
At PONANT, the "all-inclusive" includes:
- Accommodation in stateroom
- The full meal plan
- The Open Bar: beginning with boarding, and during the duration of the cruise, a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) is served on request and at any time of the day. Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar
- Free Wi-Fi internet access 24 hours a day*
Access to all the common areas:
- On board our sister ships and Ponant Explorers: fitness room, steam room, hair salon, swimming pool (sea water, heated), solarium, lounges, theater, boutique & leisure area
- On board of our three-masted Le Ponant: Solarium of 400 m², marina, lounge, Boutique & leisure area
Is airfare included in the price of the cruise?
For all our cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic, we charter aircraft and transfers in order to facilitate the arrival and the departure of our passengers. Thus we offer air packages having the following benefits: direct flights, baggage transported on a single flight to ensure its delivery at the arrival point, ship’s departure delayed in the event of a flight delay & personalized service on board. For cruises outside of Arctic and Antarctic, some flights are included in the rate shown. These cruises are identifiable by the notation "round-trip flights included," "domestic flight for arrival included'" or "return domestic flight included". For more information, our Information & Booking Service is at your disposal. You can contact them here.
Are port taxes included in the price of the cruise?
You will not have to worry about port taxes, they are included in your cruise fare.
Do reservations with PONANT include visa applications?
In most cases, you should take care of visa applications and all the necessary paperwork for visiting certain countries. For reservations made by French, Belgian and Swiss citizens, we will indicate what type of visa is necessary for your trip. When certain visas are issued and invoiced directly on board, the information is indicated on our website, in the description of the cruise (Formalities section).
Are excursions included in the price of the cruise?
Excursions offered are not included in the price of the cruise. Some cruises, however offer excursions, you will find the details of the routes concerned here.
Are all meals included in the price of the cruise?
The breakfasts, lunches and dinners served on board are included in the price of the cruise. Beginning with boarding and during the entire duration of the cruise, beverages are served on request and at any time of the day. The Open Bar offers a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck Champagne, spirits, coffee, tea). Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar.
Are Spa services included in the price of the cruise?
Access to the steam room and the fitness room is free, except on Le Ponant which does not have them. You can discover all of our paid services (scrubs, facials, hair care, hair styling and body care) on our Spa menu here.
What champagne is included in the price of the cruise?
Charles Heidsieck champagne is included in the Open bar.
Are the rates displayed per person or per stateroom?
The rates displayed on our site are per person, on the basis of a double occupancy. A single supplement applies automatically for people wishing to travel alone. This supplement is waived on some cruises, discover the list of departures concerned by this offer here
What is the PONANT Bonus?
The PONANT Bonus allows you to benefit from the most economical fares as soon as possible. This promotional rate, up to 30% discount, increases as a function of the availability of the cruise. Find details concerning the PONANT bonuses here.
Are the rates displayed on the site calculated based on the PONANT Bonus?
The rates displayed on the site are updated in real time according to the evolution of the PONANT Bonus.
I have seen a different rate for the same cruise on other sites, how can this be explained?
PONANT is committed to offering exactly the same rates with travel agencies as with its direct customers, including Internet sales and on foreign markets. If you find different rates for the same PONANT cruise, please report this to the following email address: email@example.com
How is the on-line payment of my cruise done?
While booking your PONANT cruise on our website, you can make your payment via credit card: Visa, Mastercard, Carte Bleue, E-Carte Bleue or American Express. You can also choose between the payment of a deposit, or the payment of the totality of the balance of your account. Online payments are fully secured as we use the SSL protocol encryption system that protects your information at the time of the transaction.
Where can I find the summary of my orders/cruises?
You can find the summary of your orders and your cruises on your account, in the "My PONANT” tab. Log in to your My PONANT account by clicking here.
How can I find my PONANT Yacht Club membership number?
What is a waiting list and how do I register?
If the cruise that you want to book is complete, you have the opportunity to register on a waiting list. This list allows you to be informed as soon as the cruise is again available for sale. To register on a waiting list, simply go on the cruise sheet of your choice and click on the button "complete cruise". A link you will take you to the form to complete.
What is the cancellation policy?
For more information on our cancellation policy, we invite you to consult our General Terms and Conditions here.
Where does my vessel depart from?
On the boarding day of your cruise, your vessel leaves the port mentioned on the first day of the itinerary. A few weeks before your departure, you receive your travel book with all the information necessary for the proper conduct of your cruise, including a reminder of your itinerary and the name of the port of embarkation.
How do I get to the departure location of my cruise?
It is possible for you to come to the place of departure for your cruise by your own means, or to call our services. Your round trip flights, your transfers between the airport and the port of embarkation and disembarking or your programs before and after cruise: PONANT accompanies you through the complete planning of your trip. Discover more information on transfers before and after the cruise here.
What time can I embark on the first day of my cruise?
The embarkation schedule is indicated on the first day of your cruise itinerary. A few weeks before your departure, you receive your travel book with all the information necessary for the proper conduct of your cruise, including the embarkation schedule.
What documents are necessary for boarding?
All passengers must have valid proof of identity and the necessary visas for the destination countries, according to their nationality. Upon your arrival on board, the form of identification you used to complete the Information Sheet will be taken from you. It will be kept until the end of the cruise to be presented by the ship officials to the customs authorities at each port. If you need it during a port of call, it will be available for you at reception, provided that you return it once back on board.
How does disembarkation work?
More details of the end-of-cruise disembarkation will be given in the logbook and at reception. We invite you to read these details carefully.
Where can I find the times of the ports of call of my cruise?
The times of arrival and departure for each port will be indicated on the day prior in the newsletter you will receive each evening. Please note that the ship is unable to wait for latecomers. We thank you in advance for your understanding and for respecting the designated times.
What is the procedure for arrival in port?
At each arrival into a new port, immigration and customs officials will board the ship. As soon as the necessary checks have been done, the passengers and crew will be allowed ashore. In the event of a lack of required infrastructure in certain ports, the ship could anchor offshore. In this case, disembarkation will be done using small boats from the ship, or local launches. Given the limited number of these boats, the disembarkation will be done in groups. Please pay close attention to on-board announcements.
Are the excursions obligatory?
Certain excursions will be offered to you according to the port of call, and are not included in the price of the cruise. They are optional, so you can choose to not reserve a place, or alternatively to even organize your own excursions. Nevertheless, only excursions offered by the cruise will guarantee that you are back on board at the required time.
What is the difficulty level of these excursions? Would they be suitable to an elderly person or a beginner?
We do all we can to offer excursions that are accessible to the greatest number of people. We will specify in the description if an excursion presents a certain level of difficulty (long walks, rugged trails, long journeys etc.). If you have any doubts about the feasibility of an excursion, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Trip Advisors here.
When can I reserve my excursions?
You may register for excursions up to 60 days before your cruise, and as close in as 7 days before the cruise. To do this, contact your Trip Advisor directly, or ask to be contacted through the PONANT App. Once your pre-registration has been completed, you will not have to go to the Excursions Office once on board to confirm. However, payment for pre-registrations is made on board.
If you have not pre-registered before your cruise, you can always reserve once on board at the Excursions Office (open daily, opening hours can be found in your logbook). However, certain excursions have a limited number of places and a registration deadline, after which it will not be possible for you to reserve or to modify your excursions. You should therefore fill in a registration form. This form will remain at the Office and will be completed in case of any additional reservations. The price of the excursion will be directly added to your on-board account.
Pre-sale excursions: For logistical reasons, some excursions should be reserved and paid for before the beginning of your cruise (up to 30 or 60 days before it begins). Once these deadlines have passed and you are on board, it will unfortunately no longer be possible to ask to take part.
Can I take part in multiple excursions on the same day?
Because ot timing conflicts it is only possible to reserve one excursion per day in port. In the event that you would like to take part in a second excursion on the same day, visit the Excursions Office in order check the feasibility.
What do the Excursion Packages consist of?
- The "Essential" Pack: an offer containing the unmissable excursions on your cruise.
- The "Essential+" Pack: an offer containing one excursion for each day in port (including the "Essential" Pack).
- The "Prestige" Pack: an offer containing in addition one limited-place or pre-sale excursion (including the "Essential+" Pack).
In order to facilitate your choice of excursions, the specialists at PONANT have created Excursion Packages for certain cruises. They are designed according to the excursions offered on the cruise. The number of excursions in each package can therefore differ. 2 or 3 Packages can be offered, according to the cruise:
The Excursion Packages are only available during pre-reservation (from 60 to 7 days before your cruise, depending on availability) with payment made on board.
Once aboard, how does the organisation of the excursions work?
On the day before your excursion, you will receive, in your cabin, a ticket reminding you of the name of the selected excursion as well as the meeting time and place.
On the day of the excursion, please bring this ticket with you as it will be collected at the beginning of the tour.
In order to take part in the tours as a group with your family or friends, please let the Excursion Office know the numbers of your cabins at the beginning of your cruise.
What is a pre- or post-program?
Pre- and post-programs allow you to anticipate or to extend your cruise with optional organized programs. From half-a-day to several days, they offer you the possibility to discover the region even more through exciting visits, without having to worry about the logistics (flights, meals, hotels, guides etc.)
When can I reserve my pre- and post-programs?
The pre- and post-programs, whether they take place before or after the cruise, should always be reserved before departure. Discuss the options with your Trip Advisor.
How can I access my cabin?
One (or more) key cards will be distributed to you per cabin. This will allow you to open your cabin or to lock it when you leave. On all the ships, you just have to close your door for it to lock behind you. Therefore, be sure not to leave your key card inside when you leave your cabin.
Is there air-conditioning in my cabin?
There is air-conditioning in every cabin. It can be individually adjusted. Your Cabin Officer will be there if you need help setting the desired temperature.
Is there a television in my cabin?
Yes there is a flat screen television with multimedia options and video on demand in each cabin.
Is there a safe in my cabin?
There is an individual safe in each cabin, where you can leave your valuables. For high value items, we advise you to use the main safe. This can be accessed at reception.
What amenities are available for use in my cabin?
Beginning with you arrival in your staterooms, PONANT offers a bathrobe, slippers, towels & HERMES toiletries.
Do all staterooms offer a view of the sea?
With the exception of Le Ponant, all staterooms on our ships have a private balcony offering a view of the sea. On Le Ponant, only the Marie-Galante staterooms have a porthole.
Are there any adjoining staterooms? What is the difference between a prestige stateroom and a prestige suite?
Onboard our Sisterships (Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial) as well as the PONANT Explorers, there is a door between some Prestige staterooms to transform them into Prestige suites. On the ship deckplans (available at the end of the brochure as well as on our website on the tab "Our ships"), all Prestige staterooms with an arrow across them can be transformed into Prestige suites.
For security reasons when at sea, the door is locked in the opened or closed position and cannot be opened by guests. If two Prestige staterooms have been purchased as a suite, the door between them is unlocked and cannot be closed. For more information on the plans of our vessels, contact our Information & Booking Service here.
Is room service available?
Room service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (except at night on Le Ponant) on all our ships. Butler service is also available to suite guests on Deck 6. Discover our 5-star services here.
Can I exchange currency on board?
No, there is no Currency Exchange Bureau onboard our ships. We advise you exchange your currency in advance of your cruise through your bank or at an international airport.
How are my on-board expenses handled?
An account will be opened for you when you first board the ship for any expenses you make while on board: for example, at the boutique, premium drinks at the bar, using the laundry service, or for excursions.
We invite you to leave an imprint of your credit card at reception. The bill, along with the receipt of your card payment, will be left in your cabin the day before disembarkation. As the on-board accounts are closed on the day before disembarkation, any further payment after 10 pm on this day will have to be made in cash. This also applies to those who have reserved two or more consecutive cruises.
What is the on-board currency?
The currency on board is the Euro, but the US Dollar is also accepted.
What methods of payment are accepted on board?
Credit cards (Visa, EuroCard/Master Card and American Express), cash, Travellers' Cheques and personal cheques (in Euros only) are accepted.
What leisure activities are there on board?
On board our fleet, you will find games consoles (Wii™ and PS4) and a choice of books and board games. The library (except on Le Ponant) is also equipped with Wi-Fi connected computers. On the lower deck there is an image and photography area. The cabins of all of our ships are equipped with Video on Demand.
Can I practice a sport activity on board?
In order to maintain your fitness, and following the program of stopovers in your itinerary, mild fitness sessions will be offered to you during your cruise. If navigation and weather permit, guests can take a dip in the swimming pool of our Sisterships and our PONANT Explorers, or directly in the clear waters traversed by your vessel. Some stopovers will allow you to practice fee-based activities such as tennis, golf and SCUBA diving (remember to bring your licenses, handicap cards or dive logs). Finally, all our ships have a fitness room, with the exception of Le Ponant. Find here the details of our equipment.
Are any activities organized on board?
Informative presentations may be organized during the day. A varied and entertaining program of cultural and fun activities is on offer every evening.
What are the relaxation areas on board?
For your greater comfort, PONANT offers various relaxation areas on board: on Le Ponant, you can enjoy a solarium, deck chairs, bars, lounges, leisure spaces and a boutique. on our other ships, you can enjoy lounges, a spa with massage staterooms and a steam room, a hair salon, a fitness room, a swimming pool, a theater and a boutique. Discover all the relaxation areas on board our ships here.
What are the Spa fees?
Discover the all of the services offered and their fees here.
Can I make an appointment at the spa before my departure?
We advise all our passengers to book their benefits at the spa after they are settled on board. It is not possible to make a reservation before your departure.
Is the swimming pool heated?
Our ships Le Boreal, Le Soléal, L'Austral, Le Lyrial offer an outdoor swimming pool. The water is heated sea water.
Where can I find a layout of the vessel?
All the layouts of our ships are available on our Internet site, in the sub-tab "The Decks" under the heading "Our ships". You can also find the layout of each vessel in our downloadable brochures here.
Is it possible to visit one of your vessels?
For any question concerning the visiting our ships, kindly fill in the contact form here.
Is there a dress code on board the ships?
We advise our passengers to wear casual and elegant outfits at their convenience, and more formal attire for the Captain's Dinner.
What clothes do I need to bring on an expedition cruise?
On an expedition cruise, be sure to bring practical clothes as well as comfortable shoes suitable for travelling in Zodiacs and disembarking on beaches or mud flats. On tropical expeditions be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses and long sleeved/legged clothing. For cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic, you will be given a polar parka in your size and suitable boots will be available for use when ashore.
How do meals work?
Breakfast is a buffet that can be eaten at the restaurant or requested in your cabin. Lunch is also a buffet, and a French-style à la carte dinner will be served in the evening. Room service is available 24/7 (except on Le Ponant).
Can I have a snack outside of meal times?
Yes, outside the opening hours of the restaurant, tea and small pastries will be on offer. More details will be given in the newsletter provided each evening in your cabin.
What is the Open Bar?
From embarkation and throughout the cruise, unlimited complimentary drinks* are served. We call this the Open Bar. This also applies to drinks from the minibar and those served by room service.
Click here. to find out more.
*Excluding premium alcoholic drinks presented on the menu.
What menu is offered on board?
Our chefs and their brigade interpret and share with our passengers their passion for the French culinary heritage, enriched with the products and traditions of the countries visited. Our menus are constantly renewed according to the destination and the route chosen. On our mega yachts, two restaurants welcome you according to your wishes, the gourmet restaurant and the grill restaurant. Learn more about the on-board gastronomy here.
Do dinners vary on long or consecutive cruises?
Our chefs and their teams offer a varied menu every day. The breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style and feature a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes, as well as bread baked daily by our on-board French baker.
Here is what other passengers had to say: “There is so much choice between the two restaurants and the menu that you will always find something different as well as new recipes.”
Do I need a medical certificate to take a cruise?
A medical file is requested for Antarctic cruises, in the sub-Antarctic regions, traversing the Northwest Passage and for all trips at sea.
Are vaccines necessary to go on a cruise?
When you visit certain destinations, vaccines can be recommended. Once you have made your reservation, we will send you all the important information so that you can begin your cruise with peace of mind. It is worthwhile contacting your medical advisors before you travel as they will have access to the latest information. If you would like to know more about a destination, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can give you some invaluable advice.
Is there a doctor on board?
- The schedules of consultation are listed each day in the log book (emergency consultation 24/7).
- The Sisterships and PONANT Explorers also have a hospital for any small surgery.
- During the excursions, the passengers are accompanied by a doctor or a nurse.
- There is a fee for consultations on board . The price may vary according to the time and place of the consultation (hospital orst aterooms). You must also pay for medications.
- The doctor on board is not authorized to distribute sick leaves and prescriptions. Only accounts and invoices are provided which may be used by the passenger to obtain a refund from his/her health insurance if his/her contract allows.
There is a doctor on board available to the passengers on all our ships:
Do I have to pay for medical consultations on board?
There is a charge for medical consultations undertaken by the doctor or nurse on board. The price can vary according to the time and place of the consultation (hospital or cabin). Any medication must also be paid for by the passenger. If using medications on a regular basis make sure to bring adequate supplies for the duration of your cruise.
Should I inform PONANT if I have any special medical treatment?
If you have any special treatment, we ask you to inform the reservation service when you register for the cruise, to note it on the information sheet before departure, then inform the on-board crew at the moment of departure and always keep your medication with you for the duration of the cruise.
I suffer from seasickness, can I still come on the cruise?
Our ships (except Le Ponant) have stabilizers equipped with dynamic fins which adapt to the movements of the ship. This system allows the ship to anticipate and compensate for the pitching and tossing of the sea to achieve greater stability. Passengers suffering from seasickness will see their symptoms alleviated and are pleasantly surprised to not feel uncomfortable during their journey. However it is wise to bring travel motion medication with you for peace of mind.
Are the PONANT ships adapted to suit those with reduced mobility?
Our Sisterships and PONANT Explorers were designed for people with reduced mobility in mind:
- Specially designed cabins;
- Access ramps allowing easy movement in communal areas;
- Posters, signage and cabin numbers are translated into Braille.
Despite these arrangements, each passenger should be able to be independent or travel with a close family member or friend who can give them whatever assistance they require during their trip.
If a person has not been judged suitably fit for travel in complete safety, the company reserves the right to refuse their embarkation. Disembarkation in difficult places or in a Zodiac® is subject to the approval of the Captain, who will always have the safety and wellbeing of the passenger in mind.
Are electrical outlets available in the common areas?
Electrical outlets are available to our passengers in the common areas.
What services are on offer on board?
On board our vessels you can enjoy the following services:
- Reception desk 24/7 on our Sisterships & PONANT Explorers, and 7:00AM to 11:00PM on Le Ponant.
- Customer Service Office.
- Excursions Office.
- Breakfast in your stateroom,
- Butler service reserved to our passengers traveling in the suites of Deck 6 of the sister ships and the two large rear suites on Deck 5 on the PONANT Explorers.
- Stateroom service (Free & available 24/7).
- Wake-up service.
- Fitness room (aboard the sister ships only).
- Photography/video service.
- Postal service.
What languages are spoken on board?
The crew are bilingual in French and English. All signage and announcements made are in French and English. On certain cruises, crew members also speak other languages.
May I bring one or more children on board?
Children under three years of age are not authorized to embark the ships for yacht cruises and children under six years of age are not authorized to embark the ships for polar expedition cruises. In the case of all the expedition cruises, children must be fully independent during all the outside activities organized and during disembarkation in rubber boats, be sufficiently tall to sit on the inflatable sides of the boats, and old enough to understand, and immediately respond to the orders given by the persons in charge. As a result, children's participation in any activity in an inflatable boat shall be subject to the agreement of the Captain and of the Expedition Head, depending on the sea conditions, and the difficulty of disembarking at each location visited. The ships do not carry parkas in children’s sizes. Parents must arrange to bring a suitable parka for children.
I am travelling alone, will I feel integrated with the other passengers? Is there a good atmosphere?
On board, each space has been designed with the wishes of everybody in mind. There are places where your privacy is respected, and other places where you can pass the time together with others.
Here is what other passengers had to say:
"I have been on a cruise once with other people, and once, recently, by myself in Patagonia. I can assure you that they were largely as good as each other. The atmosphere is very pleasant, from the Captain and his crew, to the very attentive staff, and finally the other passengers who were all very friendly. All sorts of activities were on offer where you could alternate learning or cultural sessions with rest times if you wanted to. Personally, I never got bored. It doesn't matter whether you're male or female, I would go for it. It's an adventure where you'll make some amazing memories". Single guest, member of PONANT community.
Join the community.
Are animals allowed on board?
For reasons of hygiene and safety, animals are not allowed on board.
Are onboard power sockets European standard?
Yes, the 220 volt 50 hertz alternating current is distributed by sockets meeting European standards. Onboard power is 200 volt AC (European standard) and 110 volt AC (North American standard). For safety reasons, hair irons and clothes irons cannot be used in cabins. Please note that on Le Ponant, 110 volt AC is only available in cabin bathrooms.
Are power adapters provided?
Adapters are provided on board, they are available at the reception office of our ships.
Is smoking allowed on board?
Closed spaces such as the lounges, the dining room, the cabins and the reception are non-smoking areas. We invite you to smoke in designated outdoor parts of the ship.
Are gratuities obligatory?
Gratuities are included in your cruise fare. However, if you believe that the staff went above and beyond to make your cruise extra special and you’d like to give more, we recommend 10-12 per day per passenger, which will get divided among the members of the crew. But it is completely at the guest’s discretion.
Is there a laundry service on the ships?
Yes, your Cabin Officer will be able to take care of your laundry**. The washing and ironing of your clothes will take between 24 and 48 hours. Only ironing** can be delivered on the same day. As dry-cleaning is not possible on the ship, please only give us clothes that can be washed in water.
**These services are chargeable and billed directly to your cabin account.
Is it possible to make purchases on board?
Gifts and souvenirs can be bought on board at our boutique. Please note that the law does not allow us to open the boutique while we are docked at a port of call.
Can I send letters during my cruise?
You may leave letters and postcards at Reception and they will be posted for you. Please note your cabin number where you would normally place the stamp. The postage fee will be added to your account.
Is a telephone service available on board?
A satellite telephone system is at your disposal for contacting anyone, anywhere in the world. The cost of the call is added to the cabin account (€6/minute). Calls that you receive can be transferred directly to your cabin or to any other communal area on the ship. To receive or send faxes, please see Reception.
Is internet access available on board?
Free Wi-Fi internet access is available on all of our ships, in both the cabins and the communal areas. One or several computers are at your disposal in the recreation centres. Please note that the Wi-Fi connection may be slower or even interrupted in certain geographic regions or due to circumstances outside of our control.
I no longer wish to receive email from PONANT, how do I request that?
If you no longer want to receive electronic communication from PONANT, please click on the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of one of the emails that has been sent to you.
How can I contact PONANT?
How can I change the language of the site?
The site is accessible in English, French and German. If you want to change the language, you simply select FR, EN, or DE by clicking on the button located at the top right of your screen and placed to the side of the button to request enrollment in our newsletter.