2024 Wellness Guide

Le Dumont-d’Urville’s Blue Eye lounge. Courtesy Celebrity Cruises


Ponant Le Dumont D’urville

A breakthrough multi-sensory experience.

By Kathryn Romeyn



Forget the usual song-and-dance shows on cruise ships. On niche French cruise line Ponant’s latest spawn of six Explorers Series sister ships, it’s a space inside the hull that wins for best entertainment. Each ship is cloaked in a unique color, its 92 staterooms and bay window–studded suites designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel, who outfitted them as he would for a yachting client rather than for a cruise ship.

Dubbed Blue Eye, this dreamlike lounge in the hull of Le Dumont-d’Urville envelops passengers with underwater sound compositions while they recline on smart, body-listening sofas that transmit discreet vibrations for a one-of-a-kind immersion into the marine universe. And two cetacean eye–shaped portholes look out to actual underwater scenes. “The interior design of the Blue Eye lounge is based on biomimetics, so that the traveler is in osmosis with the underwater world,” says Rougerie, who conceived what he describes as an “organic and fluid space inspired by the baleens of the whale, enveloping the spectator.” Indeed, sensual shapes and curvilinear silhouettes, all lit magically, achieve an otherworldly environment. There are large mirror screens that diffuse a digital creation of evanescent jellyfish, photo-luminescent organisms, or the seabed as filmed by three specially designed, non-invasive underwater cameras. Contemporary music composer Michel Redolfi devised the state-of-the-art sound staging in which submarine hydrophones give way to a soundtrack of marine life songs and aquatic waves featuring not just whales and dolphins but surprisingly loud krill.

A similar innovation was pioneered by Ponant’s polar expedition ship. It’s the fourth in the series of ecologically sensitive, adventure-ready vessels giving passengers an easy, immersive, and snorkel-free experience. In lieu of the standard centered pool there’s an infinity-edge stunner at the stern for further opportunities to witness great oceanic biodiversity. us.ponant.com


Ocean Voyage: Dakar to Fort-de-France, Nov. 4–13, 2019 (Le Dumont-d’Urville) • Exploring the Indonesian Archipelago, Nov. 25–Dec. 6, 2019 (Le Laperouse) The Essential Seychelles, Dec. 6–14, 2019 (Le Bougainville)