28th November 2019

Ponant Explorers

Renowned architect and interior designer, Jean-Philippe Nuel of Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel, has used bespoke designs from Ulster Carpets as part of his signature style for a new fleet of unique yachts.

Ponant are the market leaders in luxury expeditions to some of the most remote yet spectacular outposts in the world and they have recently expanded their fleet of sleek yachts. The six new stars of the fleet are called Le Lapérouse, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville, Le Dumont-d’Urville, Le Jacques Cartier and Le Bellot – names that pay tribute to great French explorers. They will carry guests in the wake of these men who, long ago, set off for adventure in search of new lands.

Photography by François Lefebvre


That sense of adventure is translated throughout a variety of custom made carpet designs created and manufactured by Ulster for each luxury yacht. As Jean-Philippe Nuel explains, the warm and contemporary designs take inspiration from the locations that Ponant visits.

“Ponant Explorers are high end ships inspired by private yachts. For these cruise ships, the luxury feeling comes from the small number of cabins, which have been limited to 80. Thanks to their small size these ships can reach unique anchorage areas, very close to towns, local people or just nature.

“This ethical dimension has inspired the carpet designs of the ships, which come in various colour schemes. The graphics are not representative of any specific place in the world but, on the contrary, are inspired by a common vocabulary which leads to a ‘casual luxury’ more than an ostentatious look.”

With an understated sense of the exotic that is in keeping with the cruise line’s unique experience of luxury, comfort, service and French flair, this ‘casual luxury’ is evident in the different carpet designs for each of the six new yachts.

Whether it is the use of flowing natural forms or more geometric patterns, Ulster developed a common colour bank that provides a continuity of design that, in turn, creates a journey through the different sections of the Ponant yachts.

Photography by François Lefebvre and Christophe Dugied – courtesy of Ponant and Studio Jean-Philippe Nuel.


This continuity is also reflected in an overall style that accentuates layers and texture. These designs are only possible through the patented PSYLO™ weaving technology that allows Ulster’s designers to take a one dimensional surface and give it the impression of depth and added texture.

That versatility in design is combined with unparalleled manufacturing flexibility that produces bespoke carpets that meet the unique demands of marine environments – and on the Ponant expeditions, these environments will include some of the most remote and exotic in the world.

Having created bespoke carpets for some of the world’s biggest cruise liners – such as Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Regent Seven Seas Explorer – Ulster’s work on the Ponant fleet demonstrates the design team’s ability to also tailor designs for the luxury yacht sector.

For more on this project, including more image, CLICK HERE