French ship Le Lyrial is the complete package, good looks on the inside and out.

Stepping on board the five star cruise ship feels like heaven with its subtle hues and extravagant decor setting the tone of what to expect later.

Despite being built in 2015, this was the first time the ship, part of the Ponant Yacht Cruises and Expeditions brand, visited South Africa. It left Durban for Madagascar and the Seychelles on Sunday night.

Sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina, her first port of call was Cape Town, then Port Elizabeth before making a stopover in Durban, where international guests spent their time exploring uShaka Marine World and stocking up on some South African souvenirs.

Le Lyrial was built by Fincantieri in Ancona, Italy, for Compagnie du Ponant. It is the fourth ship in the Ponant range.

Le Lyrial is a mix between luxury and intimacy.  Known as one of the most rare and innovative yachts on the cruise market, Le Lyrial is able to navigate into little bays that bigger cruise ships cannot.The interior design has been inspired by various destinations that the ship visits, with colours ranging from the luminous delicate grey-blue of the Polar ice to splashes of the vivid turquoise blue found in Mediterranean coves.

Around 20 local guests were treated to fine French champagne and caviar on board as they explored the various decks. There is a gym, spa, salon, library and  theatre on board, providing loads of activities for a 7 day or 13 day journey.

Prices range from R43 000 for a superior stateroom to R173 000 for an owner suite. If you plan to take a trip on the Le Lyrial next year, book early as spaces are limited with already a few locals booking their cruise holidays.

It will dock in Durban again next year.

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