Whether it’s a polar, tropical or subtropical expedition, from Antarctica to Papua New Guinea, PONANT gets you up close and personal with unspoilt nature and rich cultures, far from the traditional cruise routes. With more than 20 years of experience in extreme regions, PONANT is a true Polar Specialist.Discover our expedition cruises
PONANT Expedition cruises are the ultimate blend of refined luxury and adventurous exploration, even in the heart of the most remote regions. Our small-ship Expedition cruises not only provide a high-end travel experience, but also allow you to go on a voyage of discovery to far-flung corners of the Earth, accompanied by top-quality services and experts on the regions visited.
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Marvel at other-worldly landscapes in Antarctica, meet the indigenous Inuit people, dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Seychelles, observe diverse fauna and explore dense jungle in Central America… The smaller size of our ships makes it possible to get to hard-to-reach areas, giving you the chance to discover hidden spots unlike any other.
Discover our destinations around the world
The Expedition Teams
PONANT expedition leaders and naturalist guides are passionate, knowledgeable experts on their destinations, unlocking doors to the pristine areas we visit. During outings on Zodiac® inflatable boats and during onboard lectures and talks, the team will teach you about the unique flora and fauna of the region and explain the traditions and way of life of the locals, so you can get up close and personal with these remote and fascinating regions.
From the coniferous forests of the North to the glaciers of Antarctica, from the banks of the Amazon River to the idyllic beaches of New Caledonia, from the ancient traditions of the Inuits to the millennium-old cultures of Vanuatu, discover new cultures and remote corners of the Earth on board a modern, luxurious ship.
An expedition with PONANT guarantees top quality comfort, despite exploring some of the most remote places on the planet. The comfort of the ship and staterooms, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy... we’re proud of the atmosphere we create onboard and strive to always make you feel as though you’re on your own private yacht. In the heart of icy realms or the tranquil archipelagos of Oceania, our luxury amenities will make your expedition voyage an unforgettable experience.Our expedition cruises
... in the heart of extreme lands
Whether it’s the Polar regions or along the Amazon River, the smaller size of our ships and their shallow draught mean you can get in as close as possible to these hard-to-access areas. This close proximity offers you the opportunity to explore often inaccessible locations and see rare sights. Our teams are trained to be on the lookout for any unexpected surprises and moments that are part and parcel of an expedition cruise, and our flexibility allows us to adapt to these – this is the true meaning of exploration travel.
Zodiac® shore visits and outings
During Expedition voyages, our fleet of Zodiac® inflatable boats make landing ashore in remote, seldom visited destinations safe and enjoyable, and enable guests to get as close as possible to ice, coral reefs, waterfalls and fauna. Designed to accommodate small groups of 10 guests, they are easy to step on to from the marina platform at the rear of our ship. Our inclusive Zodiac® and shore excursions are unforgettable experiences, whether you’re landing on a deserted beach in the Maluku islands of Indonesia, interacting with remote tribes of Papua New Guinea, or discovering the splendour of Antarctic glaciers.Our expedition cruises
Specialists in extreme regions, these passionate and knowledgeable professionals will add a cultural, environmental and historical dimension to your outings and will point out nearby flora and fauna, local cultures and natural phenomena. As recognised professionals, they always make scouting missions in the field before organising safe outings and shore visits for guests, taking advantage of the opportunities that arise during any expedition. The enrichment doesn’t stop there though, with a series of cultural, scientific or historical presentations back onboard.
To ensure a safe polar expedition, all our captains and crew are trained on glacier navigation.
Once aboard, enjoy the adventure with total peace of mind. Everything is included: Zodiac® outings, shore visits, excursions and lectures, plus parkas and boot hire for polar expeditions.
During some cruises and ports of calls, optional paying excursions are offered to visit sites that can be reached only with local infrastructure.
Immerse yourself in Papua New Guinea, explore the untouched Kimberley, discover forgotten islands in the Indian Ocean, be surrounded by glaciers in Antarctica, or be dazzled by the landscapes of Spitsbergen… and these are just a few of the options we offer. Whether you’re attracted to the tropics or the polar regions, our expertise in luxury expedition cruises means you’re in for an unparalleled change of scenery in some of the world’s most isolated regions.
Polar Expedition voyages
As the leader in expeditions to polar regions and with over 20 years’ experience in these unique destinations, PONANT takes you on the adventure of a lifetime, with the professional focus and responsible approach that is part of our DNA.
In the Antarctic, set out to discover the icy expanses and magnificent fauna of the White Continent: humpback whales, seals, penguins... In the Arctic regions, fjords, glaciers, icebergs that reflect the hues of the sky and varied wildlife await: polar bears, Arctic foxes, walruses, orcas, whales... plus the special moments of interaction with Inuit people.
Tropical Expedition cruises
A tropical Expedition voyage is more focussed on cultural encounters. Sailing to remote and seldom visited destinations allows you to discover the ancient customs of many tribes and ethnic groups that continue their rituals on the land of their forefathers.
Whether it’s the Papuan, Polynesian or Māori people, you’ll learn about and gain an appreciation for their tradition and cultures. During village visits, take the time to interact with these warm and friendly people, promising rewarding encounters and priceless memories. Plus, who could forget disembarking on idyllic white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and coral reefs far from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Alaska, the Bijagos islands, Antarctica, Seychelles ... PONANT and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have joined forces to offer exceptional expedition cruises with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC experts onboard – for those with a real thirst for knowledge.Find out more
PONANT and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, the ultimate combination
Since 2019, PONANT and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have come together, bringing the spirited adventure traveller a unique opportunity to embark on a selection of new expedition cruises to some of the most intriguing and remote destinations on the planet. Together we’ll take you further than ever before.
Here we have two highly respected global companies working together to inspire our guests to live curiously, explore our planet and become global ambassadors for sustainability.Discover NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC cruises
A passion for exploration
PONANT and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have collaborated on this selection of cruises based on our common values, with travelling as a way of understanding the world that surrounds us being a central tenet. This is at the heart of everything we do.
Travel has been part of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s DNA ever since one January evening in 1888 when 33 explorers, scientists, academics and patrons gathered to found “a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”
Since the first issue NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s iconic magazine, the writing, then photography and followed by video, digital, and social media in more recent years, have transported people to places they’d never considered. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC captures the world’s far-flung corners and brings them into the homes of their audience.
Sail turquoise waters on an idyllic cruise through the beautiful islands of the Seychelles or discover wild landscapes while following in the footsteps of the gold prospectors in Alaska. Oceania, Asia, the Atlantic and Northern Europe complete the list of world regions included in this wide range of unique itineraries to a variety of exotic destinations offering a multitude of new things to see and unforgettable experiences.
the Caribbean and
the islands of
the Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean & Africa
Travel with fascinating and passionate experts
Leading experts will be on board every expedition to share their knowledge and passion for the destinations.
The PONANT expedition team
Our expedition team has been selected for their knowledge and expertise to enhance your experience both on board and onshore, providing valuable insight into the culture, history and wildlife of the region. Accompanying you throughout your voyage, they are ideal companions for your journey of discovery.
A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC expert
Writers, archaeologists, adventurers, anthropologists or field researchers: the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC experts will not only share their knowledge and passion for the destinations we visit, but will also offer a global perspective showing you how they are linked to the human journey, the changing planet and wildlife, and how we also have an effect.
A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographer
A NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC photographer is also onboard, on hand to advise and teach you techniques on how to get the perfect shot. Being able to share their skills while the subject of your photograph is right there in front of you means you’ll be able to capture perfect photographs of the incredible sights you’ll see.
Ensuring responsible tourism
Experts are there to enrich the expedition with fascinating presentations. They will also be available onboard and ashore for more informal discussions, such as during mealtimes, to create a guest experience unlike any other. Documentaries, magazines, books and other items will be available on board to fully immerse you in the world of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.
For over 130 years, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY has funded groundbreaking scientists and explorers, sharing their findings with the world. They sponsored Hiram Bingham as he brought Machu Picchu to the world stage; documented Robert Ballard’s quest to find The Titanic and supported Jane Goodall’s lifelong study of chimpanzees. Today, the Society awards more than 575 grants a year to scientists, educators, innovators and storytellers around the world.
Joining the fight against plastic pollution
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC is working every day to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the world’s oceans. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s organisation-wide effort includes a major research and scientific initiative; a consumer education and engagement campaign; corporate sustainability commitments; and a program of innovative partnerships with like-minded corporations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from all over the world.
PONANT and sustainable tourism
We go above and beyond environmental regulations, using research and innovation to help us minimise our impact on the delicate environments we visit. Thanks to our efforts, every one of our ships has been awarded the international Clean Ship label, which certifies that we have reduced our environmental impact.
We are members of the IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) and AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators). Both organisations impose strict rules on tourism in the poles.
We are also passionate about working with local people, respecting their traditions and environment.