We can’t wait for the launch of four exciting new ships featuring the world’s first underwater cruise ship lounges.

Ponant, a French-based luxury expedition cruise line, is building four new 184-passenger expedition ships. Two will be launched next year in 2018; the remaining two arrive in 2019.

Ponant new ships

Dubbed “Ponant Explorers,” the four vessels each have a lounge with giant windows that look out underwater.

Imagine watching fish and other sea life in an underwater lounge while sipping on whisky sours or Bellinis!

Pre-dinner cocktails on these Ponant new ships is going to take on a whole new meaning.

ponant new ships

Ponant is keeping the exact design of its new underwater lounges a closely guarded secret for now, but they’ve released this preview pic (Credit: Ponant)

Aside from fish-peeping from the lounge, you can go water skiing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking from a watersports deck. Other highlights include an infinity pool and scuba facilities. And every cabin has a private balcony.

Named Le Champlain, Le Laperouse, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville, Ponant’s new ships pay tribute to great French explorers who set sail to discover new continents. “Ice Class” rated for polar expeditions, they’ll cruise to the far corners of the globe, from the Panama Canal and the Amazon’s Orinoco River to the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

All are environmentally friendly, complying with the requirements of the international Cleanship label (Bureau Veritas).

The four Ponant new ships will join the cruise line’s current portfolio of five small luxury ships (one, Le Ponant, is a 64-guest sailing yacht).

French flavor onboard

We’ve cruised on Ponant. And the line has impressed us with its chic French touch onboard. We love the selection of good French cheese and complimentary wine available at lunch and dinner; the luxury L’Occitane bath products; the professionalism of the well-trained staff (many are French); and the restrained but elegant decor of the ships. Onboard enrichment lectures are excellent too.

We’ve no doubt that with its French flavor, exciting new itineraries and those cool underwater lounges, Ponant’s new ships are going to be a best-selling hit.

Get a sneak peak of the Ponant new ships here


  • Bookings are now open for 2018 cruises on Le Champlain and Le Laperouse


What it’s like to cruise with Ponant: