Reported by J.S. Fletcher and Kathy M. Newbern
Our first cruise with award-winning yacht cruise company, Compagnie du Ponant, was fantastic. We sailed aboard Le Boreal from Boston to Montreal with a day in Quebec and visited marvelous unexpected sea towns along the St. Lawrence including a full day in the Magdalen Islands with a wonderful excursion to a re-created village by a now land-bound lobster fishermen.
Now, you can benefit from Ponant savings 15-25 percent off (limited offer) on a Caribbean seven-night “Fort-de-France to Fort-de-France” cruise – one of 17 itineraries available in its newly added Caribbean roster.
Offering an experience that can only be had on the smaller, more intimate ships, the 90-passenger Le Levant takes in several off-the-mainstream stops on its four round-trip sailings from the west coast of Martinique.
Ports are spread throughout Grenada, also known as the “Island of Spice”; Venezuela, a melting pot of indigenous, African and Spanish culture; and Trinidad and Tobago, an archipelago with diverse landscape ranging from coral reefs to forest and savanna. The nature of the deluxe yacht and the focus of the company on experiential travel means the advantage of smaller ports and more time for in-depth exploration ashore.
The March 20, 2012 sailing has reduced prices of 15% ranging from $2,571 to $3,505; and the March 27, 2012 sailing is one-fourth less, with fares of $2,268 to $3,093. What a Christmas gift to yourself, right?
After embarking from Fort-de-France, the 330-foot Le Levant sails to St. George, the capital of Grenada, where red-roofed, pastel dwellings are nestled within tropical rainforests, white sand beaches and impressive waterfalls.
Ports in Venezuela include the Orinoco Delta, a labyrinth-like river in the heart of Warao Indian Territory that wends its way through primal forest and mangrove swamps; Puerto Ordaz, the site of the Llovizna Falls; El Arroyo and Arature, deltas housing a wealth of wildlife that is described and pointed out by a nature guide; and El Toro, where guests can see life in an Indian village.
Greeting guests in Trinidad and Tobago’s capital, Port of Spain, are exotic birds such as snowy egrets, white-necked herons and the scarlet ibis, seen nesting by the Caroni Swamp, and a vibrant nightlife. Continuing on to Grenadine, Le Levant pulls into Tobago Cays, where turquoise waters are home to colorful coral and tropical fish, before circling back to Fort-de-France.
Ponant’s philosophy is front and center on its cruises: designed for the traveler who prefers to explore off-the-beaten-path, unspoiled destinations, especially those out of sight of the large ship masses. Just as important to the guests’ experience as they trek around the world, is the on-board environment. The company prides itself on its discrete personalized service, assured with a staff to guest ratio of greater than 1:2, delicious cuisine – both haute and country French, stylish accommodations, elegant design, expansive sun decks and open-air restaurants.
About Le Levant and Ponant
Le Levant offers an intimate setting in a spacious environment for its 90 guests: two restaurants, a spacious lounge, several bars, a library, a swimming pool, a beauty and fitness area with sauna, and salon. A 4,300-square-foot Sun Deck provides plenty of space for relaxing in the sun and open air. Its 45 outside staterooms have an abundance of space and amenities – king size or twin beds, a desk, minibar, dressing table, marble baths with showers and L’Occitane amenities. The staterooms have all the latest technology including: flat screen satellite TVs, DVD/CD players, satellite direct-dial telephone, Wi-Fi and 110/220 outlets.
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.
Established in 1988, Compagnie du Ponant is a member of both La Charte Bleue d’Armateurs de France and IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). All of Compagnie du Ponant’s cruise itineraries are designed to protect marine wildlife, coastal environments and local flora and fauna.
To Book: Compagnie du Ponant’s North American sales office is located at: 2 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2000, Miami, Florida 33131. For reservations and further information, call 305-398-9849 or toll free 888-400-1082; fax: 1-877-533-3043; email: USreservations@ponant.com or go to en.ponant.com.
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• Stories by Kathy M. Newbern, Luxury Travel Examiner
International Travel and Luxury Travel Examiners J.S. Fletcher and spouse, Kathy M. Newbern, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourSpaReport.com and YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.