Compagnie du Ponant has been sold to the owners of sandwich shop chain Pret a Manger as it announced it will become all-inclusive.
The French boutique cruise line has been sold to Bridgepoint Capital by CMA CGM so the line can “fulfil its ambitions and to maintain its growth momentum and take its international expansion to a new level”. No details of future plans have been unveiled, however Ponant currently has a fourth ship on order that will come into service this summer and recently sold off two vessels. It currently operates the sailing ship Le Ponant and two luxury ships L’Austral and Le Boreal.
Of those that have left its fleet, the 90-guest Le Levant will operate as the Tere Moana in the South Pacific for Paul Gaugin after undergoing a refit and is due to be launched this December. The 200-guest Le Diamant has been chartered to Quark Expeditions, which has renamed the ship to Ocean Diamond and will sail in the Antarctica and the Arctic Circle.
In another development the line is to become all-inclusive following a simplified price structure. Its cruise prices will include all meals, alcohol, gratuities, port charges, taxes and fees on all bookings in the US, although it is expected to apply worldwide shortly. The only additional charges would be optional excursions, transfers and personal expenses.
Cabins will feature fully stocked mini-bars and 24 hour room service and fares also include a welcome cocktail party and all onboard entertainment options.