Le Boréal is a sexy mega-yacht with 132 outside cabins, 124 of which have balconies. The ship, one of five in French cruise line Ponant's luxury fleet, features chic modern décor, French cuisine, and a very international vibe. Two restaurants, one more formal and one casual, each serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Karikal lounge, ideal for pre- and post-dinner cocktails, also has a dance floor that can pulse into the wee hours — but after days spent in fascinating ports, nights tend to end early sometimes.
What We Love
Sleek Décor: You'll feel more like you're on a luxury yacht than a traditional cruise ship. Colors are neutral, there’s no excessive bling, and the layout offers plenty of quiet spaces to relax.
All-Weather Comfort: In colder locales, passengers flock to the Panoramic Lounge, which has a library, bar, and board games; while in warmer climates, the pool and its bar draw people onto the top decks.
Best Known For
Interesting Itineraries: With its reinforced hull to handle ice, Le Boréal can visit destinations such as Antarctica and the Arctic, but the ship also cruises to Europe, Asia, and South America.
Well-Appointed Cabins: Contemporary interior design is a hallmark of Ponant ships, and Le Boréal's accommodations are sophisticated and spacious — from the 226-square-foot Superior Staterooms (which lack balconies) to the 484-square-foot Owner's Suite with its 97-square-foot balcony.
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Who It's Best For
Worldly Travelers: It's a wealthy, well-traveled international set who flock to these luxury vessels.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Parlez-Vous Français? Passengers are largely from France, as is the staff, so be prepared to wait — sometimes for a while — for translations in English if you don’t speak French.
Kim Foley MacKinnon is a Boston-based writer for ShermansCruise whose work has also appeared in The Boston Globe.
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Le Boréal at a Glance
- Line: Ponant
- Number of Passengers: 264
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 2009