Ponant has announced it is restarting cruising with five seven-night itineraries all sailing from the French coast from July 4 – including the first ones in the Mediterranean since the coronavirus lockdown.
The cruises, which have just gone on sale to the French market, are:
- A round trip from St Malo on Le Champlain, including a stop at the Isles of Scilly which, under current UK proposals, would require the passengers to go into quarantine
- A round trip from Marseille on L’Austral that would call into Portofino in Italy
- A round trip from Nice to Corsica on Le Lyrial, also calling at Porto Cervo on the Italian island of Sardinia
- A round trip from Bordeaux on Le Bougainville
- A round trip along the Atlantic coast from Le Havre on Le Dumont d’Urville
In northern Europe, Norwegian line Hurtigruten is due to begin operations on June 16. SeaDream has also announced plans to begin sailing in Norway on June 20.
Ponant, the only French ocean line, runs a fleet of nine ships which were due to be joined by two more this year and a polar expedition vessel, Le Commandant Charcot, in 2021.
In a statement, it said the cruises were subject to French government approval and that ‘safety and security of passengers and crew members on board are a prerequisite for this resumption of activity’.