Middle East Cruise News

Ponant Cruises to homeport brand new luxury explorer in Dubai for 2020/21

The luxury French cruise line Ponant Cruises will be homeporting in Dubai for the 2020/21 cruise season next year, basing its brand new explorer cruise ship Le Jacques-Cartier in the Arabian Gulf from November, 2020 for almost a full season until early February, 2021.

Following a trend first introduced in the region by Celebrity Cruises with Celebrity Constellation, Ponant’s intrepid explorer cruise ship Le Jacques-Cartier will homeport in Dubai, but sail alternating itineraries that begin in both Dubai and Muscat.

The first cruise of the season, a special Louvre partnership, will depart Muscat on November 17th, 2020 bound for Dubai. Ponant’s Le Jacques-Cartier will then depart Dubai on November 27th, 2020 on the same 8-night itinerary to Muscat, Oman.


Underwater lounge aboard Ponant’s new explorer cruise ships

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On December 5th, 2020, Le Jacques-Cartier will depart Muscat bound for Dubai once more, and so on, for the next several weeks until February. In total, Le Jacques-Cartier will cruise ten of these alternating itineraries, each celebrating the history and modernity of the Arabian Gulf’s cities.


“From fascinating and futuristic Dubai, your ship will take you towards Abu Dhabi, the booming capital of the United Arab Emirates,” says Ponant. “You will be able to make the most of this day to visit the fantastic new Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum and the Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world.”

“You will then stop off at the nature reserve of the island of Sir Bani Yas, a veritable wildlife sanctuary, before setting sail for Doha in Qatar. In this city blending tradition and modernity, next to the most recent skyscrapers, you will discover a superb museum home to treasures of Islamic art, and the sparkling colours of the Waqif souk which brings the heart of the old town to life,” it adds.


Le Jacques-Cartier will then drop anchor in Khasab, the gateway to the sublime ‘fjords of Arabia’ that guests will be able to explore aboard a traditional boat, before arriving in the Gulf of Oman.

In the charming port of Sur, on the far south of the peninsula, guests will discover maritime traditions that date back a thousand years. Today, they still build dhows there. These are the typical boats that were used to transport goods on the spice route.


Khasab, Oman

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“At the end of your cruise, do not miss out on visiting Muscat, your final port, and its Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which is like a palace from the Arabian Nights,” the cruise line says.

The Muscat to Dubai itineraries will be identical, but the port calls will happen in reverse order.

This will mark Ponant’s first ever entry into the Arabian Gulf cruise scene and comes amid a major fleet expansion for the line, with an order for six explorer yachts identical to Le Jacques-Cartier (which is due for launch in July, 2020).


“The substantial expansion of our fleet allows us to offer our guests an increasing number of destinations, exceptional voyages and high-quality services. Market feedback is indeed excellent with very high levels of bookings,” says Ponant CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvée of the new ships and new Dubai itineraries.


Elegant interiors and sleek exterior lines, along with the underwater, multi-sensory lounge Blue Eye, distinguish the Explorers series. Le Jacques-Cartier will offer 92 staterooms and suites, all with balconies or private terraces.

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