Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Compagnie du Ponant Offers Discount on Le Levant Caribbean Sailing

Renowned luxury yacht cruise company, Compagnie du Ponant, who recently expanded their worldwide cruise options to now include 17 Caribbean sailings, is offering guests a seven-night “St. Martin – St. Martin” cruise – with limited time savings of up to 25%. The two 2012 sailings aboard the 330-foot mega yacht Le Levant travel roundtrip from St. Martin – noted for white sand beaches, exciting nightlife and French-Indian Cuisine –visiting ports in the British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Antigua, St. Kitts-Nevis and the municipalities of the Netherlands. Highlights include The Baths, a collection of grottoes facing the sea in Virgin Gorda; the coral reefs in Tortola; and the volcanic Mount Scenery, which dominates the landscape of Saba. Fares are currently being offered at a 25% savings under Ponant’s Bonus program – the more in advance the booking, the greater the savings. Prices for the Mar. 12 and 19 departures range from $2,410 to $3,286 per person, double; brochure prices are $3,213 to $4,381. In addition, a $400 shipboard credit per stateroom, based on double occupancy, is being offered to new guests on any cruise if booked by Sept. 31, 2011. Other Caribbean/South American itineraries include round trip Martinique in November, Martinique-Dominican Republic in December, Martinique-Venezuela in January and Panama-Venezuela in March. Prices for these voyages start at $1,985 and range from seven to nine nights.

After embarking in St. Martin, the ship sails to the white sand beaches of Antigua, a popular yachting and sailing destination, and Basseterre, one of the oldest towns in the eastern Caribbean. Guests have a chance to explore the island’s many sites – the National Museum, Berkeley Memorial, Public Market and Independence Square – before arriving at the small volcanic island of Saba, known for the scuba diving, climbing and hiking opportunities afforded by its coral reefs and mountainous terrain. The mega yacht sails through Sir Francis Drake Channel and the Gorda Sound, stopping at ports including Tortola, the largest of the British Virgin Islands; Jost van Dyke, a small volcanic island rumored to have been used as the Dutch privateer’s hideout; and the laid-back island of Virgin Gorda (Spanish Town), named for its resemblance to a woman lying on her side when viewed from sea. Circling back into the French West Indies, travelers can enjoy the beaches, gourmet dining and high-end designer goods for which St. Bart’s is famous before returning to St. Martin.

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.

The 330-foot 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 and 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 division of CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group. As 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.


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