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About AussieBoyTX

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    Off the beaten path, remote destinations; scuba; hiking; biking
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    South Pacific

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  1. FWIW, we were advised that "The Seychelles & Aldabra Atoll" December 16-28 has been cancelled. I don't know if that is the entire Seychelles season that Ponant was working on, or just this cruise.
  2. I watched yesterday. There were some interesting things: - For new reservations on cruises booked November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2021, deposit is only 10% and final payment is due 30 days in advance. - Refunds are available for cancellations greater than 30 days before cruise, you have a positive COVID test, or Ponant cancels the cruise. For cancelations less than 30 days, the current T&C applies. - There was a large section on environmental issues and how Ponant deals with them -- this included respecting native peoples as well as nature, reduction of emissions and waste, . There is an "Environmental Officer" on board each cruise. I attached just a couple of screenshots, but there were others with details on the COVID protocol and the various fronts of their environmental initiatives.
  3. Yeah, everyday is a new adventure with Ponant. The link is on the French-langauge site here: https://www.ponant.com/blog/covid-19/ I don't think you'll see it in any language selection other than FR-France I have set my home country on Ponant.com to France and find that the contents don't exactly match the other language sites.
  4. They have added a new set of ship names I suppose to deal with their changing schedules and the limitations of their website: Soleal 2, Belot 2 and Boreal 2 join all the S20 ships.
  5. I remain confused. Ponant is convinced they can do Seychelles, I guess. France and UK are now on the Seychelles accepted country list with isolation so I guess that’s feasible. Dumomt d’Urville shows up in Martinique on December 23. The Tahiti schedule may be more fleshed out. The website still doesn’t match — it shows some Caribbean cruises on Bougainville S20 that aren’t mentioned in this doc. plus all of the numerous cancellations have t been removed.
  6. Updated again as of October 6. I didn’t try to cross reference the changes.
  7. An interesting article with the Deputy General Director. A couple of highlights: - Ponant is satisfied with bookings on the French cruises and were able to operate all but Normandy out of Le Havre (due to lack of interest). 40-50% occupancy, which makes profitability difficult. - As for upcoming cruises, "The period we are living in allowed us to show our ability to adapt. The coming months are uncertain, but we are planning cruises in Greece, Croatia (Editor's note: two dedicated brochures are being sent to the agencies), the Red Sea or the Iberian Peninsula by November. For the winter, we offer about a hundred destinations, in Antarctica, Seychelles, the Caribbean, Polynesia. We intend to convince the local authorities and our passengers of the seriousness of our [sanitary] protocol in order to be able to operate them." https://www.lechotouristique.com/article/herve-bellaiche-ponant-nous-pourrions-programmer-des-croisieres-en-france-en-2021
  8. I think few will be surprised if M/V Paul Gauguin is retired instead of renovated in 2021 and replaced with one or two Ponant ships — one even renamed Paul Gauguin.
  9. Yeah, Le Soléal has been docked at Papeete since March. Transferring some of Paul Gauguin's cruises to Le Soléal is news for us.
  10. Ponant have not proven to be good at keeping their site current. They were still listing September cruises that we knew were cancelled back in June as of late August.
  11. Ponant has posted a major schedule update for the rest of this year (and into 2021 for some cruises). Major changes I noticed: - Caribbean and Central American cruises on Dumont d'Urville & Champlain cancelled - French Polynesian cruises continue on Paul Gauguin & Soleal - Earlier Argentine cruises under review - Seychelles still on schedule operated by Champlain. Ponant says they are discussing with Seychelles government https://fr.calameo.com/read/000132423cf461dcaf716?authid=BIZNrwBnxZY5&fbclid=IwAR3rbqUhzDlQCmgPPNqFR7XPgxyQNMA3yoB8CiTr_rOIHdgLr1mt8lyU0AE
  12. There is a substantial update today by AFP/Huffpost (in French): https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/covid-19-en-polynesie-tous-les-autres-passagers-du-paquebot-paul-gaugin-sont-negatifs_fr_5f28ff5bc5b656e9b09f9e03 Highlights: On this ship, which returned to Papeete on Sunday with its 148 passengers and 192 crew members, all the tests conducted on the 339 people on board were negative. The American tourist who tested positive (asymptomatic) was tested positive on July 31, four days after her arrival in French Polynesia. In the meantime, she is with her mother who had boarded the liner All the people with whom she had been in contact would be tested, especially in Bora Bora where the liner stopped. From now on, passengers will also have to test negative before boarding a cruise ship. The Polynesian president also wants tourism to resume, a vital economic sector for this community. The Ponant company, which manages the Paul Gauguin, offered its passengers a full refund, a 15-day cruise to the Marquesas Islands, or a credit note increased to 120% for a subsequent cruise.
  13. Right now, the only ones from that list that are flying are Air Tahiti Nui via Vancouver & Los Angeles, Air France via Vancouver and French Bee via Vancouver (not on the list above). The other airlines are not operating right now. You can explore the flight history for PPT here (among other places): https://flightaware.com/live/airport/NTAA One thing that Air Tahiti Nui proposed way back in March was service to/from France via Martinique, making their flights effectively domestic. EDIT: United has a flight scheduled from San Francisco starting tomorrow.
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