A French Way To Explore Japan with Ponant
Being excited is an understatement on how I was feeling as I boarded Le Austral, a cruise ship part of the French operated Ponant cruise line. We were in Osaka and embarking on a 9-night cruise for my birthday around Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
I have been lucky enough to be on a lot of cruises but none of them had the Captain waiting for me and welcomed me onboard with a handshake, I was very impressed. I also loved the ship itself, the design, the décor and facilities are all 5 star. It offers an intimate feel carrying only 200 passengers but still with the facilities of a larger ship like multiple bars, dining rooms and a show lounge. The food was also very impressive with French inspired menus changing daily as well offering local treats like sushi and fresh sashimi purchased that day in the markets. Our itinerary was quite unique as well, exploring the South East Coast of Japan and then the lesser travelled islands of Okinawa. The beaches there are spectacular and full of locals looking for a beach break. A stop off in Taiwan then had us disembarking in the bustling city of Manila.
Ponant also operate themed cruises offering unforgettable experiences for those wanting to combine a special interest with a luxury cruise. Some of their offerings include a gastronomic cruise featuring cookery workshops hosted by renowned chefs or a golf cruise around the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. Combining a wonderful itinerary with luxurious surroundings and personal service, our cruise certainty delivered a 5 star experience all while living à la française life.
Read about my next stop, the Philippines, HERE