You will find frequently asked questions in the FAQ section 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*,
- activities offered during expedition cruises (see section "Expedition cruises"),
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.
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 paying 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 brut champagne is included in the Open Bar on the Sisterships, the PONANT Explorers and Le Paul Gauguin.
Veuve Clicquot champagne is included in the Open Bar on Le Commandant Charcot and Le Ponant.
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 offered on some cruises, discover the list of departures concerned by this offer here
What is the PONANT Bonus?
The earlier you book, the more advantageous your rates will be thanks to the PONANT BONUS, a reduction of up to 30% on the price of your stateroom or suite. This promotion decreases as the cruise fills up. Find out more about the PONANT Bonushere.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are your cruises suitable for solo travellers?
Every season, we offer a wide range of cruises with the single supplement fee waived: you thus get to enjoy a double stateroom to yourself, without any additional cost. The atmosphere on board is conducive to encounters and interaction with the other passengers. Our crews also cater to your well-being and ensure that you are settling in on board.
Check out our upcoming cruises, with no single supplement.
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.
Do you offer flexible booking conditions?
In the context of this unprecedented health crisis, PONANT has introduced an Ultra Serenity policy which applies to all new bookings.
To find out more about our Ultra Sérénité policy, consult our dedicated page.
What is the cancellation policy?
For more information on our cancellation policy, we invite you to consult our General Terms and Conditionshere.
* The connection may be slower or even interrupted in certain geographic regions or due to circumstances outside of our control.
How is the on-line payment of my cruise done?
During the course of the booking a PONANT cruise on our Internet site, you can make your payment by bank 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 obviously fully secured since we use the SSL protocol encryption system that protects your information at the time of the transaction.
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.
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 all the information on our no-worries offer 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.
What does the reinforced sanitary protocol implemented by PONANT consist of?
On land or on board, PONANT uses all technological, human and material resources to ensure a watertight “ANTI-COVID” health bubble, applying reinforced protection. For further information on our health protocol, consult our dedicated page.
Have embarking and disembarking changed on account of the Health protocol?
Boarding times have been staggered to improve the flow of arriving passengers and to avoid passengers being too close together. Passengers receive their disembarking time via SMS.
How are meals served on board: are you seated? Can you eat lunch or dinner with other passengers?
In accordance with the hygiene regulations in force, we have done away with buffets in favour of table service. Upon entering the restaurant, the maître d’ will offer you a choice of several available tables. For each meal, you can thus choose the table that suits you best. If you wish to share a table with other passengers, social distancing between passengers must be observed, with the maximum number of guests at a table limited to six.
Can you go into town by yourself during stopovers?
The option for passengers to visit stopover towns/cities by their own arrangement depends on the regulations enforced by the local governmental authorities, by which PONANT is bound. Where possible, we will offer excursions that are compliant with the requirements enforced by the local authorities.
Are masks provided on board?
Two Armor Lux® fabric masks per passenger are provided in your stateroom.
Are the hygiene conditions identical on Le Paul Gauguin and on the other ships within the PONANT fleet?
The same hygiene measures apply on board all ships within the fleet, including on Le Paul Gauguin.
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 there excursions you can go on to discover and explore the destination?
You will have a range of excursions to choose from, with the exact excursions available varying from each port of call to the next.
- There will be one excursion per person, per port of call included in the price of your cruise, with a selection of excursions put together by our destination experts to choose from.
- There will also be paid excursions available, enabling you to explore the region in even more depth.
Excursions may sometimes be altered or cancelled without notice for either technical reasons or in cases of force majeure, or when the minimum number of participants has not been reached. If this happens with a paid excursion, you will not be charged. You will also not be entitled to any compensation if an excursion included in the price of your cruise is cancelled.
Are excursions mandatory?
Excursions are optional. You can therefore choose not to book any, or you can organise your own yourself if you prefer.
- you will not receive any discount or compensation if you choose not to take part in the excursions included in the price of your cruise;
- and you are only guaranteed to be back on board in time with the excursions provided as part of the cruise.
What is the difficulty level of these excursions? Would they be suitable to an elderly person, a beginner or children ?
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.) and whether a minimum age is required. If you have any doubts about the feasibility of an excursion, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Trip Advisors HERE
Do all excursions have to be pre-booked before the cruise departure date?
Yes, all excursions must be pre-booked, whether they are included or not.
From what point can I book my excursions?
You will be sent an email informing you when pre-booking opens. It is possible to sign up for excursions through pre-registration from 60 days before the start of your cruise, as a minimum, and up to 7 days before your boarding date. This can be done by email (email@example.com) or by telephoning your travel consultant on +33 (0)4 91 36 41 65 or requesting a call back via the PONANT app.
Places on excursions are limited, so booking requests will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis.
Once you have completed your pre-registration, all you then need to do is confirm your excursions at the Excursions Office once on board.
How do I pay for pre-booked optional excursions?
Pre-booked optional excursions are paid for directly on board.
I haven't pre-booked my excursions. Can I sign up for them on board?
If you have not pre-registered prior to your cruise, you can always book once on board at the Excursions Office (open daily – opening hours can be found in your daily cruise programme).
You will be required to complete a booking form. This form will be kept at the office and also used to record any additional bookings. The price of the excursion will be charged directly to your onboard account.
However, certain excursions have limited places and a booking deadline. Such excursions cannot be booked or altered (if already booked) once this deadline has expired. Booking requrests are dealt with on a first come, first served basis while places are still available. We therefore strongly advise you to pre-book your excursions in advance.
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.
Once aboard, how does the organisation of the excursions work?
On the day before your excursion, you will receive, in your stateroom, 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 staterooms at the beginning of your cruise.
Can I cancel a pre-booked excursion?
You can cancel an excursion up to 48 hours before the excursion departs (without charge if the excursion is a paid excursion).
How is the expedition team made up on board? What role does it play?
On expedition cruises, our passengers are always accompanied by a team of about ten naturalist-guides and experts on board, with double that number on Le Commandant Charcot, which constitutes one of the best guest-to-staff ratios found on any voyage of this kind. They are all specialised in a particular field: history, geology, marine or land mammals, ornithology... Their objective is to share their knowledge with passengers during on-board conferences and excursions as well as landings in Zodiac boats, with the aim of making them true ambassadors of the regions they visit. They are also there to ensure safety during expedition activities, excursions and landings in Zodiac boats. They set off on scouting missions, prepare meticulously for every excursion, supervise and ensure the safety of passengers, etc.
They are trained in the regulations governing exploration trips in the polar zones (IAATO in Antarctica, AECO in the Arctic) and have the necessary certifications and licences to ensure the supervision of the proposed activities.
Are the boardings and landings in Zodiac boats accessible to everyone?
We do everything we can to make these expeditions accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities and reduced mobility.
What activities are offered on board?
PONANT expedition cruises are an opportunity to meet experts from the region visited, to attend their conferences and to talk with them after their presentations, during outings and landings in zodiac boats or during more informal discussions. On board, it is also possible to take advantage of our well-being areas such as the spa, the hair salon and the gym, or the library and the various shared areas of the ship. Screenings in the Theatre, cooking demonstrations and tastings are regularly organised. For more information on the activities offered on board our ships, please consult the "Leisure and activities" section of our FAQs.
What activities should I pre-book?
In addition to the landings and zodiac outings, some expedition cruises offer additional activities (see the "activities" tab of your cruise if applicable). The number of places is limited, so they must be pre-booked.
What specific activities are offered during cruises on board Le Commandant Charcot?
On board Le Commandant Charcot, many new activities are offered in the Arctic and Antarctica:
|Included activities (limited places)||The Arctic||Antarctica||minimum age|
|Kayaking||X||X||12 years old*|
|Dog sledding||X||12 years old|
|Hiking||X||X||10 years old|
|Snowshoeing||X||X||10 years old|
|Ice fishing||X||12 years old|
|Polar water activities (polar plunge in a swimsuit or a dip in a dry-suit)||X||X||16 years old|
|Participative science||X||X||8 years old|
|Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables||X||X||8 years old|
*The dog sledding activity is only offered at the beginning of the Arctic season on the east coast of Greenland, on the Scoresby Sund (Ittoqqortoormiit and area). There are no dogs on board the ship. The activity is offered by a local partner
Are the activities offered during the cruises on board Le Commandant Charcot accessible to all?
For polar water activities (polar plunge in a swimsuit or a dip in a dry-suit), you will be required to present :
- A medical certificate allowing you to swim in polar waters
- A swimming certificate
- An electrocardiogram (ECG)
- For those under 18 years of age: a sworn statement from parents or guardians that they are able to swim and that a parent is present at the time of the activity.
The kayak activity for under 18-year-olds is subject to the following conditions:
- A sworn statement from the parents or guardians that they are able to swim
- A parent must be present at the time of the activity.
For any medical questions, please see the "Health and Accessibility" section.
In addition, although we aim to offer activities at every opportunity, we are subject to ice and weather conditions and cannot guarantee to offer all activities to all passengers.
Is sailing on board Le Commandant Charcot as comfortable as on other ships in the PONANT fleet?
Thanks to its 10-metre draught, its anti-roll stabilisers used in open waters, and its ice-breaking hull specially adapted to meet the requirements of a cruise ship and to meet comfort standards, Le Commandant Charcot is particularly stable. It is the first ice-breaker type ship with integrated stabilisers.