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7 Perfect Days on the Adriatic Sea

Imagine gliding in an exquisite French yacht over turquoise water, under brilliant sun, stopping to explore beautiful islands in the Adriatic sea, and  ancient, charming ports of call along the Dalmatian coast.

Imagine having the time on these stops to kayak bays and inter-island channels, swim in the warm crystal clear sea, visit ancient hilltop fortresses with stunning views, shop in lovely boutiques tucked into quaint stone alleys and tree shaded plazas, tour sites with centuries or millennia of history.

Return to the yacht for the finest in French dining in a luxurious restaurant, stocked with an amazing and very affordable array of vintage wine.  And attend Champagne cocktail parties, musical revues, dancing, or just lounging with a wonderful group of passengers drawn from all over the world.  And be pampered by the warmest and most attentive staff imaginable.

This was our experience recently on L’Austral, one of the cruise yachts of the Compagnie Du Ponant – a 7 day cruise leaving from and returning to Venice, and visiting Split, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Kotor, Pula, Korcula, Pula and Rivenj.

Ponant has found the perfect balance for our tastes.  L’Austral has 132 cabins with about 220 passengers on our trip.  This is small enough to have gatherings and events on a very human scale, and allows you to meet and re-meet fellow passengers at meals, excursions, events and walking around ports of call.  We became very good friends with couples hailing from Melbourne Australia, Rennes France, Switzerland, Spain, London, Austria and various parts of America.

The ship is just large enough to have a swimming pool surrounded by lounge chairs and adjoined by a lovely outdoor dining area and overlooked by an outdoor cocktail lounge on the deck above.  There is a theatre where several night-club performances were staged, and there are several other lounges and bars.  All the areas are designed and furnished in elegant contemporary décor. For those with the stamina there is even DJ disco dancing into the night. A nice touch was the lovely singer whose voice and range of musical styles was remarkable – who greeted us on return from excursions, accompanied cocktail receptions and parties, and provided evening entertainment for listening or dancing in one of the lounges.

What was really special was the personal attention of the staff, many of whom from the first day knew us by name, greeting us warmly.  Hasan the maître-d was the most charming man alive and Tedi, our dining server, greeted us with a broad smile and exactly our preferences in tea, coffee, water and wine, making sure they never ran dry.  He had the time to chat with us, while still providing impeccable service to his tables.”

Compagnie du Ponant, the only French flagged cruise line, celebrated their 25th anniversary in July 2013.  In January of 2014, they announced a new addition to their fleet of luxury yachts – Le Lyrial, to be launched in the Spring of 2015.   Their current fleet consists of similarly designed sister ships Le Boréal (2010), L’Austral (2011) and Le Soléal (2013), each with 132 staterooms; and Le Ponant, a 3 masted  intimate luxury yacht with just 32 cabins.

With these smaller yachts, you are able to sail in waters not accessible to larger ships, visit exotic ports not found on many itineraries and discover out of the way places that span the globe.   All on state-of-the-art cruise yachts offering an intimate and sophisticated yacht style French inspired style of cruising!

Compagnie du Ponant, a member of Virtuoso, is offering select departures with Voyager Club in 2014 for the first time.   Each Voyager Club sailing will feature a personable Virtuoso host, welcome reception and choice of Voyager Club amenities.

Please contact [email protected] for special details on these amazing itineraries offered by Compagnie du Ponant.

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