Cruise ship tours: Inside Ponant's Le Soleal, a vessel designed - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cruise ship tours: Inside Ponant's Le Soleal, a vessel designed for adventure

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France-based Ponant's 264-passenger Le Soleal was christened in 2013. Six decks high and 466 feet in length, it is one of four nearly identical vessels at the line that debuted between 2010 and 2015. France-based Ponant's 264-passenger Le Soleal was christened in 2013. Six decks high and 466 feet in length, it is one of four nearly identical vessels at the line that debuted between 2010 and 2015.

Looking for a cruise on a ship that is intimate and upscale? Our latest Cruise Ship Tour, in the carousel above, offers a deck-by-deck look at Le Soleal - a small, elegant vessel that carries just 264 passengers.

Unveiled in 2013, Le Soleal is one of four nearly identical ships operated by Ponant, a small French cruise line with a global customer base.

Until recently, Ponant had been relatively unknown to Americans. But that's been changing in recent years as the fast-growing operator markets its fleet of yacht-like vessels more heavily in the USA.

As can be seen in the tour, Le Soleal is stylish and contemporary in design with sleek cabins, a spa and other upscale touches. But it's also a rugged vessel designed to go to some of the world's most extreme places. It boasts a strengthened hull to sail in icy polar regions and carries Zodiac boats for landings in remote areas.

Ponant is known for some of the most off-the-beaten-path itineraries in the cruise industry and is a specialist in trips to Antarctica and the Arctic.

The Le Soleal photo tour is part of our ongoing series of cruise ship galleries. For an inside look at dozens of other passenger vessels sailing the world's oceans and rivers, click on the links below:

Adventure Canada: Ocean Endeavour
AmaWaterways: AmaViola; AmaCerto
American Cruise Lines: American Constellation
American Queen Steamboat Company: American Queen; American Empress
Azamara Club Cruises: Azamara Quest
Avalon Waterways: Avalon Myanmar; Avalon Visionary; Avalon Passion
Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Imagination; Carnival Inspiration; Carnival Miracle; early icons of the Carnival fleet; Carnival Vista
Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Solstice
Celestyal Cruises: Celestyal Olympia
Costa Cruises: Costa Diadema; Costa Atlantica; Costa Luminosa
CroisiEurope: Elbe Princesse
Cruise & Maritime Voyages: Discovery; Astoria
Crystal Cruises: Crystal Symphony
Cunard Line: Queen Mary 2
Disney Cruise Line: Disney Wonder; Disney Fantasy; Disney Magic; Disney Dream, Fantasy compared
Emerald Waterways: Emerald Sky; Emerald Radiance
Hapag-Lloyd: Europa 2
Hebridean Island Cruises: Hebridean Princess
Holland America Line: Amsterdam; Koningsdam; Westerdam; Rotterdam; Maasdam; Oosterdam
Hurtigruten: Midnatsol; Lofoten; Nordstjernen; Fram; Trollfjord
MSC Cruises: MSC Meraviglia
Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Getaway; Norwegian Escape; Norwegian Sky; Norwegian Joy; Norwegian Bliss
Oceania Cruises: Nautica; Sirena; Marina; Insignia
Paul Gauguin Cruises: Paul Gauguin
P&O Cruises: Britannia
Princess Cruises: Regal Princess; Diamond Princess; early icons of the Princess fleet; Star Princess; Golden Princess
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Mariner; Seven Seas Explorer; Seven Seas Voyager; Seven Seas Navigator
Royal Caribbean International: Quantum of the Seas; Anthem of the Seas; Freedom of the Seas; Harmony of the Seas; Symphony of the Seas
Scenic Cruises: Scenic Gem; Scenic Sapphire
Seabourn Cruise Line: Seabourn Encore
Silversea: Silver Galapagos; Silver Cloud; Silver Cloud (before 2017 makeover); Silver Muse
Star Clippers: Royal Clipper
Tauck: Inspire; Savor; Emerald
UnCruise Adventures: Safari Endeavour; Safari Voyager
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: S.S. Maria Theresa; River Countess
Viking River Cruises: Viking Skirnir; Viking Herja; Viking Hild
Viking Ocean Cruises: Viking Star; Viking Sea; Viking Sky; Viking Sun
Windstar Cruises: Star Pride; Star Breeze; Wind Spirit

Retired ocean liners, cruise ships and yachts: SS Rotterdam; Royal Yacht Britannia
Theme galleries: 10 cruise ship suites that will blow your mind; the last of the great ocean liners; ship christenings with Queen Elizabeth II; Royal ship christenings through the years; 9 most amazing megaships; 25 most beautiful cruise vessels

USA TODAY Cruises: The 25 most beautiful cruise vessels

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