Founded in 1988 by merchant navy officers, and acquired in 2015 by Artémis, PONANT is the only French luxury cruise owner, and the world leader in polar expeditions.

The company operates 13 French-flagged cruise ships, including its famous three-masted sailing ship Le Ponant, and the latest addition to the fleet, Le Commandant Charcot, a hybrid ice-breaking polar exploration vessel powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, which made history in 2021 by becoming the first French ship to reach the geographic North Pole.

As a pioneer in sustainable tourism, the company has launched major initiatives to reduce its CO2 emissions, including the progressive phasing out of heavy fuel oil, reducing ship speeds, and equipping its ships with shore power connections and systems. The PONANT commitment to sustainable development has been widely recognised: the company has been awarded Bureau Veritas CLEANSHIP label, holds Green Marine Europe certification, and topped the Nabu 2020 ranking of the most environmentally friendly cruise lines).