Le Soleal

capacity
200-264
year built
2013
crew members
140
length
466 Feet
beam
59 Feet
draft
15.3 Feet
cruising speed
14 knots
flag
France
ice class
1C

Le Soleal is an elegant and innovatively designed expedition ship that accommodates up to 264 guests (200 on Antarctica cruises) on her global itineraries. On board, guests can enjoy big ship amenities but on a small ship with special moments that feel as though you are staying at a 5-star hotel. Le Soleal’s operations foster camaraderie and a unique atmosphere, with her subtle combination of luxury, privacy and well-being. Her elegant appearance and refined interior design with cutting-edge technology offer a new type of cruising: adventure in a luxury setting. Designed and built in 2013, Le Soléal is the third alongside three other identical sister ships: Le Lyrial, Le Boreal and L’Austral. Each sister ship has its own color palette and motif but all share an elegantly understated aesthetic and European craftsmanship that brings supreme comfort in wilderness areas.

Le Soleal Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Le Soleal review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery, along with a dedicated Le Soleal Ship Review written by one of our specialists. Our expedition ship experts have been aboard Le Soleal firsthand. Please read our Le Soleal review below then contact our experts to compare Le Soleal with other small cruise ships and polar expedition ships offering Antarctica cruises.

Choose Le Soleal for her fusion of luxury, fine dining, wellness, entertainment and active programming. Experience high comfort and adventure paired with French-inspired elegance and impeccably trained staff aboard this 7-deck, ultra-modern ship. A plethora of public spaces, combined with 95% of staterooms and suites offering a private balcony, create opportunities for intimate connections and extraordinary moments. For these, and many other reasons, Le Soleal is among our top choices for passengers seeking Antarctica luxury cruises.

Safety, Sustainability & Accessibility Aboard Le Soleal

Le Soleal has been carefully designed to offer the highest standards of luxury and safety, both for her guests and for the natural environment. Le Soleal and her sister ships are the only ones in their class to be certified “Clean Ships” by Bureau Veritas, one of the world’s foremost stewards of ecologically sound travel. The onboard silent electric propulsion system helps cut carbon emissions by 40%. Dynamic Positioning, a sophisticated GPS and propulsion system, keeps the ship in a fixed location without need of an anchor. Advanced filtration systems treat and recycle all wastewater. Onboard storage holds compacted items for later recycling ashore. The CFR and LED lighting throughout uses just 10% of the electrical power of older, more traditional systems. And advanced sonar provides the captain and officers with rolling 3D views of the ocean floor, icebergs and ice floes, enabling Le Soleal to keep her distance from marine animals. Le Soleal is fully ADA compliant, with 3 accessible staterooms, 4 elevators and lifts up and down stairways for easy access to all decks and public areas of the ship. Finally, the ship’s infirmary is available 24 hours a day and is equipped to treat non-emergency matters. A doctor is available for a nominal fee.

Common Areas Aboard Le Soleal

Each area aboard Le Soleal has been considered down to the last detail. Enjoy sophisticated ambiance and tasteful decorations. The interior design of Le Soleal features a range of entirely soft and gentle colors, with greys, whites and pops of cerulean combining with natural wood. Panoramic windows throughout the ship’s many common areas reveal the beautiful areas that only a small expedition ship can access. The Panoramic Lounge’s cozy piano bar offers breathtaking views of the horizon while its library offers materials reflecting the global destinations Le Soleal visits and an Internet desk keeps guests connected while at sea. The Theater acts as the main venue for conferences and live entertainment on named evenings, featuring state-of-the-art audio and video technology. The Lobby offers a constantly-staffed concierge lounge, including reception, guest relations, concierge service and an excursions desk.

Dining Aboard Le Soleal

Le Soleal offers two different dining concepts according to your desires. For early and late risers, a daily selection of coffee, tea, fruit juices and pastries are available from 6:30-10:00am in the Main Lounge. At the rear of Deck 2, the Gastronomic Restaurant seats all passengers together at one sitting. This elegant main dining room invites guests in for breakfast, lunch and dinner highlighting both French and international gourmet cuisine, including local specialties of the various ports visited. The Ducasse Conseil-trained chefs create a special menu offered aboard Le Soleal, including accommodation for special diets and groups through customized menus. The Gastronomic Restaurant is also host to two Gala Evening Dinner Nights with menus to go with one of the best wines from the cellar, as recommended by a sommelier. Faithful to her commitment of spreading the French way of life, aboard Le Soleal a French baker prepares and bakes fresh bread and pastries daily.

Guests can also enjoy breakfast, buffet lunch and themed dinners in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Grill Restaurant on Deck 6. Alfresco dining aboard Le Soleal may also be available at certain times. The Main Lounge and Panoramic Lounge, each with access to an outside terrace, creates a space for afternoon tea and specialty drinks from their cocktail bars. The open-air bar on Deck 7 is an ideal setting for a sunset drink overlooking the pool. For those who don’t feel like getting dressed for dinner or getting out of bed for breakfast, Room Service is available 24 hours a day.

Activities Aboard Le Soleal

Life on board Le Soleal is an intrinsic part of the cruise experience. Every day there are new opportunities to combine passion for travel with passion for learning. The Theatre makes every cruise unique and enriching thanks to its constant and accessible conferences from experts, naturalist guides and guests of honor. Settle into a comfortable seat and enjoy a range of different shows, concerts and performances from professionals from Paris and Rome, recruited for their talent. The Main and Panoramic lounges are host to various entertainment events during Tea Time or before dinner. Show off those dance moves in a salsa dance class or other themed entertainment such as karaoke, Casino parties or game nights. The Leisure Area’s Wii™ and board games offer amusement as the ship repositions; a children’s area on Deck 5 additionally provides games and books. The Fitness room provides views of the sea, a Kinesis wall, weight training gym equipment, treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes. Opportunities for respite and rejuvenation during each cruise departure can be found in Le Soleal’s hairdressing salon, two massage rooms, Balneotherapy room, Moroccan steam spa, relaxation room and herbal tea bar. Post-excursion massage seekers and fans of facials need look no further than the French skin-care favorite SOTHYS™ Spa/Beauty Corner. The open Bridge policy invites passengers to talk with the captain and crew (weather permitting), and learn about Le Soleal’s state-of-the-art navigation technology.

For shore excursions, Le Soleal is equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs which comfortably transport guests to shore and allow for exceptional discoveries of wildlife and the surrounding coastal landscapes. This is an absolute must for exploratory excursions along coastlines or for accessing shallow water ports. Zodiac launches are conducted from the stern via the ship’s stable marine platform.

Crew & Guides Aboard Le Soleal

Experience exceptional comfort aboard Le Soleal due in part to her attentive and experienced staff. Attention to minute details is constant and the teams is always available to respond to requests, whether in your stateroom, lounges or various dining areas. The impeccably trained staff is discreet yet attentive and provide service that has become legendary among travelers. Even in the most remote regions, discover the exceptional comfort and service that are Le Soleal’s signature.

Le Soleal’s Expedition Managers and naturalist guides are selected for their knowledge and expertise to enhance the experience both on board and in the field. Passionate and bilingual guides provide fascinating lectures and valuable insight into the culture, history and wildlife of the region. Additionally, Le Soleal’s departures also host guests of honor from different fields. Artists, writers, journalists and scientists–all experts in their field–contribute unsurpassed cultural enrichment.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Le Soleal

Like the rest of the ship, the staterooms and suites were elegantly masterminded by Jean-Philippe Nuel. All accommodations are spacious, with touches of luxury throughout. Each stateroom or suite features panoramic sea views, the option of one king-size bed or two twin beds, individually-controlled air-conditioning, minibar, flat-screen satellite TV, desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, on-demand video, a safe, hairdryer, bathrobes, a 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24-hour room service, complimentary WiFi Internet access and added-cost satellite direct-line telephone. Laundry and ironing service is available for a fee.