The voyage started in Sydney and called the various islands and anchorages a ship of only this size is capable of , with the Zodiacs on board ferrying passengers across to remote places in the region if tender service not an option , this worked quite wel
We found the staff very capable and instructions both in French and English well presented and all explained in detail in most cases the day before , the Australian expedition leaders knowledgeable and a bit of Aussie humour to flavour the experience !it was the vessels and Ponant's first experience exploring the Barrier Reef.
Passengers mostly from France , My guess 60 percent and the remainder Aussies , some Anericans and other Europeans , actually a great mixture and it seemed they all enjoyed each other's company.
The Ship is fairly new and cabins and beautifully appointed , comfortable beds , a flat screen TVs with all the English channels , a mini bar well stocked and replenished daily at no cost and included in the open bar policy , however be mindful of the suites , they might have a fold out couch serving as a king size bed , best to check this out if you prefer 2 singles
The cabins on deck 5 very quiet and no noise from other passenger cabins nearby .
The vessel boasts 2 restaurants , all open sitting , the on deck 6 more casual and booking for dinner is essential due to the limited space , the one on deck 2 very nicely appointed and seats all if required , the senior officers and Master occupy their own table apart from Welcome and Farewell dinners ,
The vessel has an open bar policy that includes most drinks, cocktails , wines , fancy a gin and tonic or a Martini , a Brandy after dinner , not a problem !
We experienced 2 Wine tastings , one in French and one in English , very knowledgable and presented , the stock of top wines is also on display and available from the restaurant in deck 2 .
Numerous activities during the day , what ever you fancy from Quizes to Can Can shows at night in the theatre and with the amount of passengers not a busy excercise , the ship also has an open bridge policy most of the time if you fancy a look where all the action is .
Food , plenty , not silver service though , not sure if that still excists nowadays , there is a Butler service if you want to dine in private , the French tone is prevellent of course and if you like this style , these sort of cruises won't disappoint ,
The Master and Officers are French , the crew in general a mixture of Fillipino and Indonesian , and all English speaking .
Embarkation / Disembarkation not a problem , yes 4 o'clock for a 6 pm departure , what's the fuss? Your luggage tagged and delivered to your cabin and vice versa when going off .
The staterooms on deck 3 don't have an totally open veranda as on the top,decks , there is a reason for that as you are closer to the water line, just a safety thing, and so are the doors towards your veranda not full length , same thing .
Overall a beautiful ship , no pokies , no casino,no rowdy teenagers !
Well appointed , not big , seperate toilet !