Compagnie du Ponant cruises ply the waters off all seven continents and never leave the pasty chef behind. The French brand is known for the luxury of its cabins and the spontaneity of the itineraries. When conditions allow, the captain is likely to make an impromptu stop to launch zodiacs near a pod of dolphins he's sighted or ferry passengers to an abandoned beach. Count on maximum comfort as you cruise aboard the brand-new ship, Le Soleal (launched 2013), on 11-day round-trip itineraries from Ushuaia through the legendary Drake Strait to Antarctica. Take zodiacs trips around Neko Bay and the Weddell Sea to see the largest icebergs in the world, chill amongst penguin colonies, visit former whaling stations, and watch breaching humpbacks splash in the frigid surf.
Credit: Danita Delimont / Getty Images
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