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Ponant Suspends Operations

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True, and to some extent I agree. All of the docked ships, with the exception of Le Bougainville, are in Martinique and French Polynesia and both are supposedly served by an Air Tahiti Nui flight that resumes on April 30. That would conceivably get French crews (or at least officers) to the ships on "domestic" flights not subject to the same quarantine restrictions.

 

I don't think the hotel & restaurant staff that have been repatriated to their home countries (presumably Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.) will be able to get to those ships. Qantas has stopped all international flying through the end of May, so even if Le Laperouse is fully staffed, only Australians that can get to Darwin could join it.

If Ponant can staff with fully European crews (and if the situation in Italy improves dramatically faster than the current situation, allowing disembarkation in Venice and Civitavecchia), I can see some of the Mediterranean cruises operating with almost solely European passengers, along with the Norwegian ones. There are some flights that supposedly resume between the US and Europe on May 7, which would allow us to join. We'll see.

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On 4/4/2020 at 3:13 AM, jland said:

 

My beef with Ponant is this. We booked this cruise, the Northwest Passage, with Ponant at a cost of AUS$28000 per person as it is one of the few remote places we haven’t been to. This cruise only goes once a year. The cruise stops at tiny communities, passengers out number the locals. Now Ponant know this cruise will not take place, one local catching any form of virus could wipe the whole community out. Here is the dilemma, they have $14000 of our money do we paid the final payment? If a refund was forthcoming yes we would but we do not want $56000 of our hard earned money tied to a company with who in our option thinks nothing of their customers. FCCs are not worth the paper they are written on.

 

 

Have you seen this?

I am no sure what this exactly mean for Ponant or any other cruise line who wants to do the Northwest Passage.

  • Prevent any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating, or transiting in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast). 
    • Should any foreign passenger vessel seek to enter Arctic waters, they would need to give the Minister of Transport 60 days’ notice and be subject to any conditions the Minister determines necessary to ensure the protection of marine personnel and local communities.
    • These measures will remain in place until October 31, 2020.

https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/04/the-government-of-canada-announces-new-measures-for-ferries-and-commercial-passenger-vessels-capable-of-carrying-more-than-12-passengers.html

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I would STRONGLY advise you not to make any further payments to Ponant until you are absolutely certain that the cruise will take place and that the itinerary has not changed to something you don’t want to do at all. The small print says they can change the itinerary without notification. At very best you’ll receive a credit (valid for a year) without interest. Make sure though that you get a guarantee from them that you’ll not lose your deposit already paid. Once they have your money they can do whatever they like.

Good luck from another very disappointed Ponant customer 

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16 minutes ago, wacvn said:

I would STRONGLY advise you not to make any further payments to Ponant until you are absolutely certain that the cruise will take place and that the itinerary has not changed to something you don’t want to do at all. The small print says they can change the itinerary without notification. At very best you’ll receive a credit (valid for a year) without interest. Make sure though that you get a guarantee from them that you’ll not lose your deposit already paid. Once they have your money they can do whatever they like.

Good luck from another very disappointed Ponant customer 

 

Many thanks for the heads-up.

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3 hours ago, directionfinder said:

Have you seen this?

I am no sure what this exactly mean for Ponant or any other cruise line who wants to do the Northwest Passage.

  • Prevent any Canadian cruise ship from mooring, navigating, or transiting in Canadian Arctic waters (including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik and the Labrador Coast). 
    • Should any foreign passenger vessel seek to enter Arctic waters, they would need to give the Minister of Transport 60 days’ notice and be subject to any conditions the Minister determines necessary to ensure the protection of marine personnel and local communities.
    • These measures will remain in place until October 31, 2020.

https://www.canada.ca/en/transport-canada/news/2020/04/the-government-of-canada-announces-new-measures-for-ferries-and-commercial-passenger-vessels-capable-of-carrying-more-than-12-passengers.html

 

40 minutes ago, wacvn said:

I would STRONGLY advise you not to make any further payments to Ponant until you are absolutely certain that the cruise will take place and that the itinerary has not changed to something you don’t want to do at all. The small print says they can change the itinerary without notification. At very best you’ll receive a credit (valid for a year) without interest. Make sure though that you get a guarantee from them that you’ll not lose your deposit already paid. Once they have your money they can do whatever they like.

Good luck from another very disappointed Ponant customer 

Thank you so much directionfinder, that info is just what I wanted. So pleased the Canadian Government is looking after the small communities in the area. I have money to lose but cruising the northwest passage could cost communities their lives, the virus would wipe them out.To protect them is more important than my money.

wavcn, Ponant will never see another cent of my money. Your advice is excellent, I shall follow it to the letter.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/8/2020 at 12:36 PM, AussieBoyTX said:

Le Dumont d'Urville and Le Champlain are currently docked in Martinique. Le Dumont d'Urville is scheduled to leave Aberdeen on May 25.

These ships have left Martinique and are heading across the Atlantic.

 

Le Laperouse is now in Noumea, so it's also in French waters now -- that just leaves Le Bougainville in Seychelles.

Edited by AussieBoyTX

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Posted (edited)

These pictures, taken from Le Lyrial's webcam, were on the Ponant Yacht Club Facebook page today. You can see Le Boréal, l'Austral and "a new boat." Presumably Le Jacques Cartier, as Le Bellot has a current position fix in Norway on CruiseMapper.  

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 12.05.10 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-04-13 at 12.06.40 PM.png

Edited by AussieBoyTX

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The silhouette suggests that it might be Le Commandant Charcot. It's supposed to move from Romania to Norway sometime this year...

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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!

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9 hours ago, parischris said:

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!

 

According to cruisemapper.com, Le Bellot is stil located at the Soviknes Shipyard in Alesund.  The first scheduled sailing appears to be a 7-day round trip departing from Reykjavik on July 13, 2020.  

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1 hour ago, jonikal said:

 

According to cruisemapper.com, Le Bellot is stil located at the Soviknes Shipyard in Alesund.  The first scheduled sailing appears to be a 7-day round trip departing from Reykjavik on July 13, 2020.  

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.

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On 3/23/2020 at 3:28 PM, jonikal said:

 

Appreciate the heads-up.  Not auspicious for late June sailings, either.  It's a cascade of cancellations.  Hard to fathom how a business can continue to function after all those losses of revenue.  

 

 

Got notice from my TA today, Ponant gave me FCC's at 100% for my cancelled cruise, no offer of a refund.  You can read into that what you like about their solvency.

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8 hours ago, resistk said:

 

Got notice from my TA today, Ponant gave me FCC's at 100% for my cancelled cruise, no offer of a refund.  You can read into that what you like about their solvency.

What a mean spirited offer. Not even 125% to compensate for the lack of refunds. How does this company expect people to be loyal to their brand. My cruise in August will not be going, due to the Canadian Arctic being closed until October, but still no words from this company. If I end up with their useless FCC I will find a cruise for the exact amount as I will never give them one cent extra of my money. Trouble is they will probably be insolvent long before any of us get to use their useless FCC. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jland said:

What a mean spirited offer. Not even 125% to compensate for the lack of refunds. How does this company expect people to be loyal to their brand. My cruise in August will not be going, due to the Canadian Arctic being closed until October, but still no words from this company. If I end up with their useless FCC I will find a cruise for the exact amount as I will never give them one cent extra of my money. Trouble is they will probably be insolvent long before any of us get to use their useless FCC. 

 

 

jland,do you have to pay the balance? if you are still outside the 91days cancellation, why don't you cancel and cop the 10% penalty instead of giving this retched company more money. 

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9 hours ago, resistk said:

Got notice from my TA today, Ponant gave me FCC's at 100% for my cancelled cruise, no offer of a refund.  You can read into that what you like about their solvency.

 

Ponant offered me 115%, which was more than enough to cover the cost of the same cruise a year hence.  I have also heard of others getting the 115% offer.  I wonder why they only offered you 100% – is it because it's a TA?  [I have no reason to suspect that, but it is the one thing about your cruise that I know is different from mine.]

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Posted (edited)

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. 

Edited by parischris
added sentence

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2 hours ago, ozzicruiser said:

jland,do you have to pay the balance? if you are still outside the 91days cancellation, why don't you cancel and cop the 10% penalty instead of giving this retched company more money. 

Yes Ozzicruiser that is an option we are thinking about but as the cruise is not until the end of August we still have time to suss out where we stand legally. Probably haven’t got a leg to stand on but will try anyway.

 

ParisChris is correct, nobody should expect to be personally contact about a cruise which is months away but I think we all deserve to be treated with consideration. All Ponant have to do is update their list of cancelled cruises, this would allow people chance to  cancel air tickets, hotels, tours etc not to much to ask surely.

 

Our cruise with Cunard was cancelled March 26th took the full refund offered. Do not expect to see the money for months but we will get it eventually, that is all we ask. 

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2 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

Ponant offered me 115%, which was more than enough to cover the cost of the same cruise a year hence.  I have also heard of others getting the 115% offer.  I wonder why they only offered you 100% – is it because it's a TA?  [I have no reason to suspect that, but it is the one thing about your cruise that I know is different from mine.]

 

Yes, has to do with TA.  On some cruises booking with the TA is a better deal.

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7 minutes ago, resistk said:

Yes, has to do with TA.  On some cruises booking with the TA is a better deal.

 

I think we have miscued abbreviations.  I meant Trans Atlantic – since Ponant has a category called 'Ocean Voyages' which they treat differently.  I also book through a Travel Agent, and that did not affect my offer of 115% FCC [and no $$ option].

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21 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

I think we have miscued abbreviations.  I meant Trans Atlantic – since Ponant has a category called 'Ocean Voyages' which they treat differently.  I also book through a Travel Agent, and that did not affect my offer of 115% FCC [and no $$ option].

 

Yes was also a Trans Atlantic.

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We shouldn’t forget that unlike the US there is no clear “no cruises for the next 100 days” for most of Ponants destinations, or a clear timeline when restrictions will be lifted. So not easy to plan ahead for any company.

 

I read the Canadian statement that they don’t allow any canadian company into the Arctic but may allowing others if they can follow the imposed restrictions 

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1 hour ago, schnapperin said:

We shouldn’t forget that unlike the US there is no clear “no cruises for the next 100 days” for most of Ponants destinations, or a clear timeline when restrictions will be lifted. So not easy to plan ahead for any company.

 

I read the Canadian statement that they don’t allow any canadian company into the Arctic but may allowing others if they can follow the imposed restrictions 

Surely protecting tiny Inuit communities from this virus is more important than allowing a cruise to go ahead. Any cruise company with a conscience would do the right thing by these communities and postpone all cruises until next year. Lives are more important than pleasure cruising. Just my two bobs worth.

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