SA Cruise News

French luxury line Ponant returns to South Africa in 2020 aboard Le Lyrial

Ponant, one of the most luxurious cruise line’s in the world, and certainly the most luxurious in France, is returning to the warm waters of South Africa during the 2020 summer season.

The yacht-like cruise ship Le Lyrial will sail an eight night cruise from Cape Town to Durban on March 17th, mirroring a journey she has made at the same time of year for the past three years.

Le Lyrial of Ponant Cruises

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The eight night, nine day voyage hugs the coastline of South Africa, with port calls in Port Elizabeth and Richard’s Bay before arriving in Durban.

What would usually be a three or four day cruise for any other cruise line, is a week-long affair for Ponant because Le Lyrial will stay overnight in port in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban, giving passengers a full two days to explore all three cities.

Ponant have dubbed the voyage a ‘Musical Cruise’, because it is being held in partnership with Radio Classique, the most popular classical radio station in France, and will include guest performances by French composer Alain Duault and the Sirba Quintet.

Other highlights of the voyage include a visit to Robben Island, shore excursions to the Cape of Good Hope and its cliffs plunging dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean, and several game safari options in every port on the itinerary.

After disembarking in Durban, passengers will also have the option to stay on in South Africa for an extended holiday in the Kruger National Park.

Balcony cabin aboard Le Lyrial.

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“At the crossroads of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, embark aboard Le Lyrial and explore a land of ethnic diversity and rich history,” says Ponant. “The nation is home to three of the largest terrestrial mammals—the elephant, rhinoceros and hippopotamus—and its plant life alone represents one tenth of the world’s botanic heritage. Between its bustling metropolises and its breath-taking natural beauty, we invite you to discover the two contrasting sides of this incredible country.”

Le Lyrial is the newest of four identical ships in the Boreal Class for Ponant. Delivered in 2015, she is 10,944-gross tons and carries just 264 passengers in 132 cabins and suites.

Like her sister ships, Le Lyrial has two dining rooms, three lounges and a small theatre, as well as a small fitness area and spa with two treatment rooms.

Ponant is a French line, so the service, food and entertainment are French. Announcements are made in French first and dinner is served late in the French style. Similarly, the cuisine is French-inspired and entertainment in the theater is cabaret style.

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