Print Page Send to a friend

Asian adventure on Le Ponant

Asian adventure on Le Ponant Aboard le Ponant

Our trip was a true 5-star experience. From the moment we boarded, staff were very friendly and helpful. Only 48 passengers meant the staff to guest ratio was even better than expected. There were two other English-speaking couples on board, through many of the French spoke English to us - and it gave us a chance to practise our (poor) French.

Food was excellent. I am vegetarian and the staff went out of their way to offer me vegetarian meals, even to the extent of creating something completely separate for me, on a couple of occasions.

Actually, it’s a bit of a misnomer to call them “ports” of call: because the draft of the boat is so shallow, it does not require a wharf or jetty so it can simply anchor off-shore. Crew then use the Zodiac inflatables to take us ashore and return us to the ship.

One major advantage of being able to anchor just off-shore was that we could arrive on the beach long before the day tourists arrived from Phuket and we could stay on after they had departed. On a couple of occasions, the crew ferried us from the beach to the ship for lunch, then sailed us to a new destination for the afternoon.

Most of the destinations were beaches because that is the nature of the Andaman Sea. We had plenty of time to explore the area of just relax in the sun on the beach. Snorkelling or scuba-diving was a feature of almost every day.

Imagine coming back on board after an exhausting morning sun-baking on the beach and being greeted by the barman as you step aboard, with with a cold glass of lime juice!

Because of the small size of the ship, there is no ballroom, no casino, no swimming pool. Hence we got to know everyone on board within a very short time. Everyone dined at the same time, in the same dining area.

On the second day out, part of the air-conditioning system broke down. While this might be thought to be a disaster in the tropics, in fact it turned out to be a blessing: the formal dining room could not be used so each night we ate dinner on deck, under the stars! Fabulous.

Overall, the holiday was a fantastic experience. The small size of the ship, the friendliness of the crew, the food, the destinations and the other passengers all made for a great experience.

Would we do it again?

View sailings on Le Ponant.

Back to Listing