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Le Lyrial (Ponant) Review

2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

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By Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Overview

Le Lyrial is one of four sister ships in the fleet of Ponant, a French luxury expedition cruise line. The ship is small, holding just 264 people, but manages to pack a lot into a small space, including a full-service spa, fitness center and a swimming pool.

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About Le Lyrial (Ponant)


Elegantly appointed ship with excellent service and relaxed vibe


Unless you're in a suite, cabins are too small; strange bathroom layout

Bottom line

A beautiful small ship sailing destination-rich itineraries

The ship has a wonderfully calm vibe, with a sedate elegance and a marine-inspired decor. We particularly loved the atrium sculpture, which mimics whirling columns of fish.

Ponant is a French line and the service, food and entertainment onboard are French. Announcements are made in French first, dinner is served late, the cuisine is French-inspired and entertainment in the theater is cabaret style, while in the lounge the singers channel their inner Edith Piaf.

Le Lyrial sails primarily in Europe, South America and around Africa. When in Europe, it offers culturally rich itineraries throughout the Mediterranean. During the rest of the year, it sails expedition journeys to Antarctica, around the coast of South Africa and to the African islands (Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, etc.). The onboard marina is stocked with kayaks and Zodiacs for use on these more exotic sailings.

Fellow Passengers

The majority of passengers on a Le Lyrial cruise are French, with a smattering of cruisers from English speaking-countries (mostly U.K. and Australia) as well as other European countries and occasionally Asia. You might also find yourself on a sailing in which part of the ship has been chartered by an American tour operator (such as Tauck). Cruises during school holidays will attract young French families, though not in large numbers.

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Dress Code

During the day and especially on shore excursions, casual, comfortable clothing is the norm. Depending on your itinerary, specific clothing might be recommended (waterproof, wind resistant, hiking boots, etc.). In the evening, attire is at passengers' discretion, though jeans, T-shirts and flip-flops are not permitted in Le Celeste main dining room. On Gala Nights, cruisers are encouraged to dress up in their finest but it's not required. Keep in mind, the French do tend to dress nicely for dinner.

Le Lyrial Inclusions

The cruise fare is only slightly inclusive on Le Lyrial with just drinks (soft and alcoholic, but not including premium brands) included in the price, as well as Wi-Fi. Shore excursions (with very few exceptions), laundry, tips and the spa are not included. The euro is the onboard currency.

Le Lyrial (Ponant) Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Cabins
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation

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Le Lyrial (Ponant) Ship Stats

  • Crew: 139
  • Launched: 2015
  • Decks: 7
  • Passengers: 264
  • Registry: France
Le Lyrial (Ponant) Ratings
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Cabins N/A 0.0
Dining N/A 0.0
Entertainment N/A 0.0
Fitness Recreation N/A 0.0
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Le Lyrial (Ponant) Member Reviews

Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Apr 2019
Just finished a 16 day Durban to Mahe (Seychelle Islands). We were a bit worried about the ship due to some not so good reviews. But, all I can say is it was a fantastic experience! We are generally traveling on...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Apr 2018
Hello: We did not like : * The shore embarkation and disembarkation on the Zodiac : "wet shoes" * The primary school- like disciplin : prohibited to walk out of the flaged pathways, swimming prohibited, etc...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Sail Date: Feb 2019
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you...Read More
Le Lyrial (Ponant)
Tasmanian Traveller
Sail Date: Nov 2018
I chose this trip because it offered 3 stops on South Georgia Island weather dependant and I felt there was a chance of at least getting one stop. As it happened we had five on shore excursions, one Zodiac cruise...Read More

Ponant Fleet