PONANT and Relais & Chateaux have joined together to create all-new culinary cruise experiences for 2020. Each hosted by a Relais & Chateaux chef, three itineraries in Europe, Africa, and Asia are available to book, with more to follow in 2021.
“Through this partnership, we are delighted to offer a unique stay and the best cuisine to our guests at sea. PONANT’s ships boast exceptional accommodations, making every cruise an unforgettable experience,” said Philippe Gombert, president of Relais & Chateaux, in a statement. “More than just a sense of excellence, we share fundamental values including ethics, commitment and authenticity, which are reflected in the respect of local cultures and heritage, and the protection of the environment. We believe in ethical cuisine. The ocean must now be considered as one of our planet’s most precious ecosystems.”
Hosted by the Relais & Chateaux chefs on board PONANT EXPLORER ships, the journeys will include two gala dinners featuring two new signature dishes that the respective chef has created for the occasion. The chefs will also host culinary demonstrations, cooking classes, and lectures for guests throughout the journey. Depending on the ports of call, guests can also join the chef for market tours to meet local producers.
“Our shared values in the protection of the environment, a thrive for excellence in service and gastronomy, the concept of ‘boutique hotel’ that echoes the intimate size of our ships… we have a lot in common enabling us to provide our guests with a unique and refined experience,” says Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, president and co-founder of PONANT.
The cruises include:
• Treasures of Brittany: On Sept. 20, 2020, the two Michelin-star Relais & Chateaux’s chef Mathieu Guibert (chef of the restaurant Anne de Bretagne, la Plaines-sur-Mer) will be on board Le Jacques Cartier for a 7-night cruise along the Breton coastline. This French-focused itinerary will reveal historic port cities and wild Atlantic coasts. Among the sites of the Breton region are the Ponant Islands, the Gulf of Morbihan and Port-Navalo as well as Houat, Hoëdic, Ouessant, and Belle-Ile-en-Mer.
• Canary Islands & Cape Verde: Guests will set sail from Portugal to Senegal for a 10-night itinerary aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville with Relais & Chateaux’s chef Federico Lopez Arcay (chef at A Quinta da Auga, Santiago de Compostela). Ports of call include the historic city of Funchal, Madeira, the island of eternal spring; the Canary Islands with stops in Tenerife and Gran Canaria; and Cape Verde’s Mindelo, the cultural cradle, and Santiago, the archipelago’s most inhabited island.
• China and Vietnam: Guests will embark on Le Laperouse in the Chinese megalopolis of Shanghai for a 10-night cruise that will journey all the way to Halong Bay. An exceptional cruise during which passengers will discover the UNESCO World Heritage sites of the Yandang Mountains, Gulangyu, and Bay of Ha Long as well as wander the shopping malls and street markets of Hong Kong.