Container ship operator CMA CGM has sold its cruise business, Compagnie du Ponant, to the London-based investment group Bridgepoint Capital. Compagnie du Ponant currently owns three ships, the small sailing vessel Le Ponant (1991/1,189gt) and the 2010 and 2011-built sisters Le Boreal and L’Austral, both of 10,944gt. A third ship of this type, Le Soleal, is currently under construction by Italy’s Fincantieri Shipyard at Ancona.
Two vessels have recently been sold: Le Diamant (1974/8,282gt), which was chartered back for a series of summer 2012 cruises, and Le Levant (1998/3,504gt), currently working out her notice before being delivered to Paul Gauguin Cruises, for whom she will operate as Tere Moana in Europe during the summer and in the Caribbean and Americas in winter. Le Diamant will operate for Quark Expeditions as Ocean Diamond once her charter-back finishes.