As a French line, Ponant has partnered with Ducasse Conseil, a company run by Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse, since 2016. The partnership, the line claims, is to ensure the culinary standards are as high as possible and to train staff to a high level of competence. Based on our experience, this partnership appears to be successful. From our short sample cruise, we found plenty of choices for those who prefer lighter and smaller servings.
Those with dietary restrictions or preferences should advise the line in advance of their cruise.
Beverages are included in your fare, but at meal times you are limited to house wines. While limited in choice, house wines are nevertheless of more-than-adequate quality. If you fancy something special, premium wines are available a la carte.
Restaurant (Deck 4): The main dining venue retains the theme of the ship; it is bright and airy and is designed to accommodate all passengers in a single sitting. Buffets feature salads, cheese and sweets, with a choice of entrees served by waiters. There is also an outside area on the rear deck for warm nights under the stars.
Breakfast has all the usual morning options, while the lunch and evening menus feature seafood like shrimp, crab, oysters and mussels at a buffet-style servery, accompanied by plated dishes served at your table. A sample menu might include chilled lobster tail and marinated crispy vegetables or with seared sea scallops, octopus, broccoli and Chateau Virant pure olive oil; or an Argentinean beef tenderloin, seasonal vegetable gratin and truffle jus. A vegetarian menu, which doesn't feel or look like an afterthought, is also available.
Service is attentive and prompt, and there is the chance to become acquainted with your serving staff throughout the voyage to ensure your preferences are met.
Grill (Deck 3): This alternative alfresco venue outside the main dining room is near the infinity pool. The all-day dining menu focuses on grilled meats, salads and desserts.
Room Service: Room service consists of both hot and cold fare, including comfort food items like toasted sandwiches, fries, soup and pizza. Room service is available free of charge for all cabins, 24/7.