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Everything posted by parischris

  1. Excerpt from https://cruisepassenger.com.au/australian-cruising-set-to-resume-in-weeks/?fbclid=IwAR3xSzyAtPAixH6j5Q-3McI6z-Bpdb5L9G7CBT27kqmWHp7X2Mq8W9ekd94. Ponant and Coral Expeditions are gearing up for local markets in Australia and New Zealand: "Ms Bratton told New Zealand based drive-time news program Checkpoint that she hopes to create a travel bubble in New Zealand where two of Ponant’s luxurious expedition vessels would be able to sail using one or two quarantine options. The ships will sail from December 2020 through till March 2021. “One is either you can be at sea for 28 days, taking your time from a point – let’s say Singapore through to New Zealand with just the crew onboard,” she said. “The other one is that you could come into an anchorage, say to Auckland, and be anchored for 14 days with no guests on board, just the crew, and undertake the quarantine there.” Ms Bratton said on average, about 100 crew members are needed on each ship. One vessel will have the capacity for 150 guests and the other, 200 guests. She also said they hope to use the 150-passenger vessel for 80-plus days of expedition cruises, in and around New Zealand’s coast. The ship will not pick passengers up, nor will it pick up passengers from other countries unless a travel bubble with other nations was established by then. “We’ve got such proven operations there with the subantarctic but also regional New Zealand cruising. And when we had a look, over 100,000 Kiwis cruise annually, [but] not a lot of them get the opportunity to cruise their own coast or indeed to take an expedition and the reason being most of the time when we’re in New Zealand we’re chartered by North American companies, so we see this as a tremendous opportunity for us to create product, number one for Kiwis, and if we’re able to then for Aussies,” she said."
  2. The cruise list for Australia/New Zealand is geared for locals, in the same way that Ponant have tried to kick start cruising for locals in France and Polynesia. Small cruise lines are really the only ones that have chance of resuming operations in A/NZ catering for A/NZ residents. The Antarctic cruises are another story - I can't imagine that travelling into Argentina won't involve a quarantine period.
  3. It's not about fault, it's about pursuing the right company to try to retrieve the deposit. Pretty simple, follow the money trail. If it leads to Ponant, all well and good, but I would bet it hasn't made it further than eWaterways.
  4. It's a question of which company you paid your deposit to, not which company you think should be responsible. If eWaterways went into liquidation, Ponant will not have received your deposit from the company you paid it to. Same as booking an airline ticket through an aggregator - the airline will have the reservation, but until the aggregator pays the airline, you don't have a 'ticket'. What company name appears on your credit card statement for the deposit?
  5. @DSmith91. A search of the UK companies register indicates that eWaterways and its parent company have been insolvent since at least May 2019, with a liquidator appointed. There has been a motion to strike the company off the UK companies register, which I think results in the remaining assets reverting to the Crown, if there are any left after secured creditors are paid. If you paid by credit card, it is your first and probably best course of action to try to recover your deposit.
  6. Unfortunately @DSmith91, the problem is between you and eWaterways. It appears that eWaterways isn't an ABTA member. As a small company, eWaterways would have held on to your deposit as long as possible, making it unlikely that Ponant ever received your deposit, and they have no obligation to you (this is why I never use travel agents, no matter how good the 'deal' is). Your best bet is credit card dispute, and I would get onto that quickly given that eWaterways has effectively vanished.
  7. Now heading to Las Palmas...
  8. Le Bougainville is 'ported' in the Seychelles, which has just announced that it is closed to cruise ships until 2022, so they are probably keeping close to Richards Bay for provisions and fuel until new orders are received from Marseille.
  9. Thanks for taking the time to post your introduction, HostJazzbeau. It will be good to get a moderating influence in place on this board. Like you, I was booked on Le Laperouse (should be en route to Darwin right now on the way back from swimming with whale sharks in West Papua). I had my first sail on the explorer class Le Laperouse at Christmas, having been on all of the 4 sisterships at least once). She's quite different, but retains the culturally distinct French flair that permeates all of Ponant's ships. My favourite remains Le Soleal despite the fact she is larger with more capacity for annoying passengers 🙂
  10. It has as much to do with Ponant as quoting Mark Twain (not your quote) - in an offensive slur against all French people. You weren't on the 'ignored user' list, but congratulations, you've achieved something for the day!
  11. There is a great piece of functionality in the Boards called 'Ignore User'. This allows you to specify users that you find objectionable and mute them out of the board posts, messages etc. Click on your user name on the top right of the screen, and you'll find 'Ignored Users' in the drop down list. I'm only interested in constructive posts - so feel free to add me to your 'Ignored Users' list at any time - I'm developing quite a list myself at the moment to filter out the faux outrage.
  12. It probably is due to the TA booking. I'd advised a friend to book direct with Ponant rather than using a TA. She went ahead with the TA and only discovered that the TA was offering 100% FCC rather than the substantially better offer from Ponant for direct bookings after the travel restrictions caused the cancellation of the cruise. My expedition was due to leave in a week's time and was fully paid at the end of January. I've simply shifted the entire paid amount to what is now the newly created same cruise itinerary in 18 months time. At a substantial discount with the more than 100% FCC offered. Like the airlines, the cruise companies are methodically working their way through cancelled itineraries, which taking time given it is worldwide for literally millions of travellers. If you're not due to travel in less than 90 days, it is unrealistic to expect communications about what happens in 3+ months time. The companies are simply not up to that point in processing yet. I cancelled Qantas flights for April and September back in early March and have yet to receive the refund - the backlog is enormous.
  13. The 4 ships I was referring to are Le Lyrial, Le Commandant Charcot, L'Austral and Le Boreal. The reference to Le Bellot was picking up AussieBoyTX's reference to Le Bellot in Norway.
  14. It's Ponant's new hybrid electric icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot. All four ships are heading to Marseille. On a positive note, great to see that Le Bellot and the icebreaker have been delivered!
  15. Cancellation letter received this afternoon for April 22 PNG cruise. Awful situation for all cruise companies trying to get passengers and crew home, and working out what to do with ships indefinitely.
  16. Hi, The only power outlet in the bathroom is a shaver outlet. I plug my electric toothbrush into one of the power outlets on the desk.
  17. rkacruiser is correct...Peter Insull sold Minerva in 2017, looks like she will be a Middle Eastern version of the Royal Yacht Brittania. http://www.insull.com/134m-passenger-vessel-sold-and-ready-for-new-life-at-sea-a13.php
  18. Frankly, the way your post is written means that you will most likely hate travelling with Ponant. They are proudly French - announcements are in French first and English second and they won’t change that because their English passengers consider it ‘boring and annoying’. There are many reviews from people with similar concerns that felt ‘slighted’ as English speakers. The perception that the French are treated better or ‘told more’ is a common complaint. It is purely perception - as an Aussie who has done more than 7 expeditions with Ponant and who can understand the French announcements, it has no basis. My last trip with them had announcements from the naturalists in three languages to accommodate a small group of German speakers. An APT or A&K charter on one of the Ponant ships might suit you better as they are exclusively English speaking, although the Captain, officers and reception staff will still be French.
  19. Yes, there will be a formal Captain’s Dinner at the start of the cruise and a Gala Night at the end. Both are optional.
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