Life on board

    Whether you choose a Mediterranean cruise or a voyage into the heart of the Antarctic ice floes, you will always enjoy the exceptional levels of service for which PONANT is renowned. Our excellent service, customised and attentive, will give you the privileged feeling of sailing aboard your own private yacht.

    To ensure you experience a real tailor-made cruise, all of our experienced staff will be fully available for you.


    The safety of our guests and crew has always been our greatest priority. On land as at sea, PONANT therefore applies strict rules that are subject to regular international inspections.

    Provisions on board

    • Each guest has a lifejacket in their stateroom and near the life rafts.
    • A demonstration of the procedure for abandoning ship, which is compulsory for all, takes place before the departure of each cruise.
    • The ships are equipped with, among other things, automatic fire detection and extinction systems, fire doors and watertight doors.
    • For maximum safety in the polar regions, our ships have specific lifesaving equipment that can cope with extreme external conditions while waiting for assistance, in the event of problems.

    Inspections and classifications

    • The fleet is monitored by the Centre de Sécurité des Navires PACA Corse, located in Marseille.
    • Each ship has ISM (International Safety Management) certification, a very strict international regulation.
    • Safety equipment is checked and approved on a yearly basis by the French authorities and by Bureau Veritas.
    • All our ships are graded and are regularly examined in great detail and without prior notice, in ports of call around the world.
    • Our four sisterships (Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial) have a reinforced hull and a structure certified by Bureau Veritas. They have also been awarded “Ice 1C” certification, which authorises them to sail in polar zones.
    • PONANT is currently the only cruise company sailing under the French flag, recognised as being the safest flag to sail under in the world.

    Crew training

    • After passing the entrance test, each officer receives thorough training at the French National Maritime College (ENSM) by alternating periods of training with periods of sailing. Recruited for our ships depending on their successful graduation and their experience, these officers are responsible for operating the ship and supervising the crew.
    • Training courses on an ice navigation simulator are organised at the ENSM in Marseille. This tool, unique in France, trains young officers to run a very specific bridge and to sail in a polar environment.
    • The entire crew (sailing, hospitality and production) undergo extensive training enabling them to exercise the roles entrusted to them in the event of an emergency. Many exercises and simulations are regularly held to ensure that everyone is fully capable of responding appropriately.
    • For cruises in the polar regions, the crew undergo additional training regarding survival and behaviour to adopt in polar waters.
      Sécurité à bord ponant
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