Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Office
7 Upper Grosvenor Street
London W1K 2LX
Tel : +44 (0)207 491 4264
Fax : +44 (0)207 408 2487
Capacity 64 pers
Crew 30 pers
Taille 88.00 m
Le Ponant is a luxury cruise ship belonging to the Compagnie du Ponant, a company from the French shipping group CMA-CGM. This sailing ship was built in 1990 by the shipyards of the Société française des constructions navales in Villeneuve-la-Garenne (France).
The ship is an 88-metre long three-masted sailing ship with a sail area of 1,500 m2, and is also equipped with a 1,600 kW engine.
She can carry 64 passengers and has a crew of 32.
She has a top speed of 14 knots.
She has four decks, two restaurants, and a sun deck of 400 m2.
The ship's small size means that she is well suited to sailing close to the shore, making it possible to gain access to numerous creeks and places that are inaccessible to most cruise ships, such as:
· the Cinque Terre (Italy);
· the port of Valetta (Malta);
· the shores of the Red Sea;
· the Maldives Archipelago;
· the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates; and
· the Lesser Antilles (January 2013).
On 4 April 2008, Le Ponant was seized by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and Yemen, as she passed by these coasts, which are renowned for being one of the areas most affected by modern piracy. The French Navy dispatched the frigate Commandant Bouan from its base in Djibouti.
The hostages were freed on 11 April 2008 following the payment of a ransom. Some of the pirates were apprehended in Somalia during a helicopter operation by France, when it was also possible to recover part of the ransom.