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  • le-bougainville-marina.jpg - Guests can use complimentary water sports equipment such as kayaks launched from the marina of Le Bougainville.
  • le-bougainville.jpg - The 184-passenger boutique ship Le Bougainville from Ponant offers sailings to charming out-of-the-way destinations.
  • bougainville-in-marseille.jpg - The expedition ship Le Bougainville makes its debut off the coast of Marseille, France.
  • reindeer-1.jpg - A reindeer seen on a Ponant polar expedition to the arctic.
  • polar-bears.jpg - Polar bears seen on a Ponant expedition sailing to the arctic.
  • ponant-aurora.jpg - An aurora borealis seen off Victoria Island during a Ponant cruise.
  • French-cuisine.jpg -  Dining is a gastronomical experience on Ponant voyages.

Le Bougainville: Intimate sailings on Ponant's stylish expedition ship

Health advisory: Ponant requires all passengers and crew members 16 years of age and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding. Guests and crew will also need to show proof of a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of boarding.


Featuring innovative and environmentally friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows and lounge areas that open onto the outside, Le Bougainville launched in August 2019 as one of the new luxury expedition yachts from France-based Ponant cruise line.

The pretty little ship holds just 184 passengers in 92 cabins and suites, making voyages a friendlier, more intimate experience.

Le Bougainville's sleek design allows access to smaller ports for exploration of hidden gems not accessible to larger vessels. Featuring two restaurants, two lounges including an open-air poolside bar, a pool equipped with a counter-current swimming system, solarium, theater, fitness center, spa and plenty of private space for reflection and relaxation, this lovely ship offers an upscale small-ship experience with an international vibe.

Following in the steps of twin sister ships Le Laperouse and Le Champlain, Le Bougainville embodies the qualities for which Ponant is known: sophisticated styling, innovative green technology and attentive service. We've heard complaints from some passengers about poor translations and communication during public announcements on some sailings, which Ponant is addressing.

Where Le Bougainville sails

Le Bougainville sails around the Mediterranean — including the Aegean and Black Sea to the east and Iberian region to the west — as well as more farflung corners of the globe, including the Seychelles, Madagascar and Arabian Gulf. The expedition vessel, part of Ponant's Explorers Class, will include polar expeditions at some point.

Ratings & awards


About Ratings & awards

Cruises on this ship

Dining on board

Modern French cuisine takes center stage during a sailing on Le Bougainville. Dining venues include:

  • A restaurant on deck 3 that seats 70 in a relaxed atmosphere. The venue serves grilled meats, along with various salads and desserts.
  • At the rear of deck 4, passengers will find a sprawling 2,800-square-foot panoramic restaurant, capable of accommodating all passengers in single sitting. This venue, with an opening to the outside, features a buffet of salads, cheeses and desserts. The attentive crew provides table service for hot meals.


Le Bougainville comes with a multi-sensory underwater space called Blue Eye.

Entertainment & amenities

Le Bougainville boast an assortment of lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for adults, teens and children, including:

  • A retractable marina water sports platform, used when the ship is anchored and the sea is calm, has adjustable heights that allow for easy access to the sea for swimming, water sports and embarkation/disembarkation for on-shore excursions.
  • A swimming pool with luxury loungers
  • The Atrium, a two-deck-high open-floor area featuring a chandelier with Swarovski crystals
  • A 2,150-square-foot Main Lounge with a large LED screen and floor to ceiling windows. Evening entertainment features live performances by a resident singer and pianist and an art auction once per Le Bougainville cruise.
  • A 188-seat theater for music and dance shows
  • Wellness Center offering a Spa, Balneo Room, Hammam, Massage Room, Beauty Corner, Hair Salon, Shower Room, Relaxation Room and spacious terrace
  • Fitness center with panoramic windows
  • Leisure Area offering a playroom for small kids playroom as well as Internet stations
  • Panoramic Lounge & Bar with an Internet corner, grand piano, library, Panoramic Terrace and Panoramic Bar, the ship’s late-night disco
  • Sun Deck with bar, luxury loungers, padded chairs and deck games, including shuffleboard, golf driving net and 9-hole mini-golf


Le Bougainville features two standard cabin categories: Prestige and Deluxe, at 204 to 296 square feet. Suites range from 296 to 484 square feet and feature large windows and lounge areas that open onto the outside. Most suites come with private balconies. Privilege Suites have a bathtub and can hold up to four people. Grand Deluxe Suites also have bathtubs and can accommodate two passengers.

Decorated by French designers, staterooms offer individually controlled air conditioning and two twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed and come equipped with video on demand, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, electronic safe, hair dryer, iPod Dock and minibar. Room service is available 24 hours per day.

Fun fact

Each ship in the new expedition class pays homage to a famous French explorer — in this case, Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who took part in the American Revolutionary War against Britain.

Your take

How about you? Are you planning to cruise on one of Ponant's new luxury expedition yachts? Let us know!

Interested in a cruise on this ship?

If you're interested in a cruise on Le Bougainville, contact a Cruiseable travel advisor at 1-877-322-3773 or by email. You'll get a better deal than you can get by contacting the cruise line directly.

Cruiseable team
The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

Fast facts

184 Passengers [?]
110 Crew
6 Decks
2019 Maiden voyage
9,900 Tonnage [?]
430 Length in feet
59 Width in feet (max beam)
14 speed (mph) [?]

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