French luxury brand Ponant will reposition one of its latest, innovative ships, Le Jacques-Cartier to cruise in French Polynesia from September 2026. This will mean Ponant will have two different ships in the region.

Local person in French Polynesia
French Polynesia

She will join MS Paul Gauguin which has been sailing in the Polynesian and Pacific archipelago for more than 25 years.

Designed with the latest technology, the 184-passenger Le Jacques-Cartier will offer a range of unique expedition experiences to complement Paul Gauguin’s more relaxed atmosphere and her shallow draft allows her to sail closer to shallower lagoons and remote islands.

Le Jacques-Cartier’s expedition experience

Le Jacques-Cartier‘s point of difference is offering guests more in-depth expedition experiences in marine life and nature reserves of French Polynesia. Designed to be environmentally friendly and equipped with the latest technology, Le Jacques-Cartier has the multi-sensory Blue Eye lounge onboard. This is an ideal place to listen and feel like you can almost touch the magical underwater world in the heart of Polynesian lagoons.

She will also boasts a team of naturalist guides who are destination experts to introduce guests to the wonders of the fauna and flora when exploring the region in Zodiacs. Le Jacques-Cartier’s marina and semi-submerged platform will provide guests with easy access for swimming and water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

Ponant’s two ships in French Polynesia

MS Paul Gauguin in Polynesia
MS Paul Gauguin in Polynesia

Together, the two ships will offer very different experiences in French Polynesia and the Pacific. Le Jacques-Cartier will focus on expedition experiences while Paul Gauguin will continue to sail the region for those who want a more relaxed and culturally-immersive cruise journey.

Two complementary ships

“With Le Jacques-Cartier, we are bringing a complementary offer, combining expertise in the destination and the Ponant DNA. We will offer an expedition cruise format, in direct contact with nature and local populations, with the French touch that characterizes us,” said Herve Gastinel, CEO of Ponant.

Le Jacques-Cartier will spend six months in French Polynesia from September 2026 to March 2027.

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