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Le Bougainville Review

Find a Le Bougainville Cruise from £3,215

Le Bougainville
-- / 5.0
6 reviews

Bottom Line




Passenger to Crew


Shore Excursions
Sails To
Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean
Ponant Cruise Deals
Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Le Bougainville Overview

Le Bougainville will be the third in Ponant's six-ship Explorer-class of expedition vessels; it launches in August 2019. It's named for Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, an 18th-century French admiral and explorer, after whom Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea was named.

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Like all the other ships in the class, Le Bougainville will hold 184 passengers in 92 cabins. The ships will have reinforced hulls for when they're in polar regions and an aft marina for sailing in tropical destinations.

All cabins on Le Bougainville have balconies, air conditioning, two twin beds that can be pushed together to form a king-sized bed, mini-bar, flat-screen TV with video on demand, an iPod for use onboard and a desk. Bathrooms have showers and French bath products, though suites have bathtubs as well.

Prestige and Deluxe staterooms offer 205 square feet of space, while suites range in size from 291 to 484 square feet. Only the Privilege Suites can accommodate more than two passengers.

A unique feature on all of the Explorer-class ships is the Blue Eye Lounge. Here, passengers can see passing marine life through two giant windows, shaped like a whale's eyes, inset in the ship's hull (that's right the lounge is under the water line!) as well as on digital screens projecting live images filmed by three underwater cameras. Cruisers will be able to hear the marine life as well via specially developed hydrophones, located beneath the ship's keel, which will capture noises up to 5 kilometers away. As if that weren't enough, the underwater sounds will resonate as vibrations on special sofas passengers can sit on.

Another standout feature on all six ships is an aft water sports marina, from which cruisers can enter the water for swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding. A fleet of Zodiacs will also be located in the marina.

As on the other Explorer-class ships, Le Bougainville will have an infinity pool with counter-current swimming system.

Other public areas include a main lounge, a 188-seat theater and a boutique.

Wi-Fi on Ponant ships is complimentary. 

Le Bougainville will have two restaurants; as with all Ponant ships the cuisine in both venues will be French-inspired. The main restaurant (Deck 4) can fit all passengers in one sitting, while the second dining venue (Deck 3) will be more relaxed and seat just 70 people.

Le Bougainville sets sail in 2019. Norwegian shipyard Vard is building the ship.

Top Le Bougainville Itineraries

Le Bougainville
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12 NIGHT Indian Ocean CRUISE

Le Bougainville

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Cruises on Le Bougainville start from £3,215 per person.

Awards and Recognition

Le Bougainville Member Reviews

Le Bougainville
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Our second cruise with Ponant, this time on their new ship, Le Bougainville.... Read More
Le Bougainville
Sail Date: Dec 2019
It has been our 4th cruise with Ponant. We like the concept of "Expedition-cruises". This cruise through the Seychelles-islands was very different. We have spoken to other travellers and the general feedback was as... Read More
Le Bougainville
Sail Date: Nov 2019
A brand new ship, 150 other guests, many from France and Belgium as it was a a Opera Cruise. Us Australians were adopted by all and again we could not fault Ponant. The destinations visited, the tours, the food, the... Read More

Ponant Fleet

Le Ponant
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The 64-passenger Le Ponant is a three-masted sailing ship that sails for Ponant, and is also chartered by other cruise lines, including Tauck.

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Launched in 2011, L'Austral was the second in a series of 264-passenger, ice-strengthened cruising yachts commissioned by Ponant; it's also often chartered by other lines such as Tauck.

Le Soleal

A luxury expedition yacht with an ice-strengthened hull, two restaurants, swimming pool and spa, as well as a marina for watersports; strong French influence.

Le Lyrial (Ponant)

A beautifully appointed luxury yacht with two restaurants, swimming pool and spa, as well as a marina for water sports; strong French influence.

Le Laperouse

Launched in 2018, Le Laperouse is the first of Ponant's six Explorer-class expedition ships. It is named for French explorer Jean-Francois de La Perouse.

Le Champlain
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Measuring just 430 feet, the luxury expedition ship Le Champlain features 92 cabins and suites with a crew complement of 110.

Le Bougainville

Featuring two restaurants and a special "underwater lounge," this luxury expedition yacht has an infinity pool and watersports marina.

Le Dumont d'Urville

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Le Jacques Cartier

Filled with airy public rooms and well-appointed suites, this hybrid 184-passenger luxury-expedition vessel will offer Ponant’s trademark French cruising flair when it debuts in 2020.

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