The safety of guests and crew has always been Ponant's greatest priority. On land as at sea, PONANT applies strict safety rules that are subject to regular international inspections.
Provisions on board
Each guest has a lifejacket in their stateroom and near the life rafts.
A demonstration of the procedure for abandoning ship, which is compulsory for all, takes place before the departure of each cruise.
The ships are equipped, among other things, with automatic fire detection and extinction systems, fire doors and watertight doors.
For maximum safety in the polar regions, Ponant's ships have specific lifesaving equipment that can cope with extreme external conditions while waiting for assistance, in the event of problems.
Inspections and classifications
The fleet is monitored by the Centre de Sécurité des Navires PACA Corse, located in Marseille.
Each ship has ISM (International Safety Management) certification, a very strict international regulation.
Safety equipment is checked and approved on a yearly basis by the French authorities and by Bureau Veritas.
All ships are graded and are regularly examined in great detail and without prior notice, in ports of call around the world.
Ponant's four sister ships (Le Boréal, L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial) have a reinforced hull and a structure certified by Bureau Veritas. They have also been awarded “Ice 1C” certification, which authorizes them to sail in polar zones.
PONANT is currently the only cruise company sailing under the French flag, recognized as being the safest flag to sail under in the world.
After passing the entrance test, each officer received thorough training at the French National Maritime College (ENSM) by alternating periods of training with periods of sailing. After successful graduation and proper experience, these officers are recruited for Ponant's? ships, and are responsible for operating the ship and supervising the crew.
Training courses on an ice navigation simulator are organized at the ENSM in Marseille. This tool, unique in France, is able to train young officers to run a very specific bridge and to sail in a polar environment.
The entire crew (sailing, hospitality and production) undergo extensive training enabling them to exercise the roles entrusted to them in the event of an emergency. Many exercises and simulations are regularly held to ensure that everyone is fully capable of behaving appropriately.
For cruises in the polar regions, the crew undergo additional training regarding survival and behavior to adopt in polar waters.