The Compagnie du Ponant
, with its head office in Marseilles (France), is a subsidiary of CMA CGM, the world's third largest container shipping company.
The Company was created in April 1988. Le Ponant, three-masts sailing ship of 32 cabins, built by the French Company of Shipbuilding (SFCN) according to plans drawn by Michel BIGOIN (also designer of "Le Phocea") was delivered in May 1991.
Another important stage in the history of the Compagnie du Ponant
was the building of a new ship, Le Levant, which started in December 1996. Le Levant was delivered in November 1998 and was inaugurated by Mrs Bernadette CHIRAC (wife of former French President Jacques CHIRAC). Le Levant is an upscale 100-meter long yacht with 45 outside cabins. In 2004, the Company acquired Le Diamant, a 124-meter-steamer with 113 outside cabins. This ship is also an expedition ship, perfectly equipped to reach the polar destinations. That same year, the Company acquired the Parisian Tour-Operator, Tapis Rouge International, specialized in luxury travel.
Today, the Compagnie du Ponant
is ranked # 1 in French-flag cruise-lines.