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We tested a cruise aboard Club Med 2

EXPERIENCE – The five-masted ship, the largest sailor in the world, flying the French flag, has resumed its cruises. He will approach Italy and Greece in September before returning to the Caribbean islands this winter.

The opinion of Figaro

Note ? 8.5/10 – Facing the ocher and red facades of the old port of Nice, the cruise ship looks great while waiting for its passengers. This 187 meter schooner with chiseled lines and majestic fifty meter high masts make it the star of every stage of the voyage. During the inaugural cruise for the summer of 2021 in early July, boat lovers were on their fiftieth voyage. The Club Med 2 is a deliciously retro ship with its eight decks, its mahogany balustrades, its furniture reminiscent of old rigs, its impressive sails at a time when the cruise industry prefers the giants of the seas. The yachting spirit easily marries the dynamics of Club Med. On board, passengers enjoy a wide range of sporting and festive activities. Encouraged by a motivated crew, we opt without hesitation for morning yoga on the aft deck or for paddle or snorkeling outings. The sun loungers and deckchairs invite you to enjoy reading on the upper decks, which are often deserted during the day, unless you are tempted by the two small swimming pools with a view.

The routes

The boat’s shallow draft allows it to sail in shallow waters, like here in Saint-Tropez. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 9/10 – The boat’s shallow draft allows it to navigate in shallow waters, offering Club Med 2 spectacular approaches and original stopovers that larger ships cannot afford. The small ports are therefore accessible, such as Bandol, Saint-Florent or the island of Elba. The 2021 program has adapted to the health crisis: a French and Mediterranean summer with the most beautiful stages of the Côte d’Azur and Occitanie and a tour of Corsica.

will follow in september Greece and Italy with a program including Athens, Naxos and Corfu. More distant destinations are offered with a course to Senegal with stops in Morocco, Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. A 10-day trip encompassing Cape Verde and The Gambia is marketed late october before the traditional autumn transatlantic joining the Caribbean. This winter, the boat will offer the British Virgin Islands with a stopover in Saint-Barthélemy for 8 days or Martinique and Guyana for 10 days.

Club Med 2 follows all international rules related to the health crisis. A PCR test of less than 48 hours is required before boarding for all customers, including if you are vaccinated. A second antigen test is carried out in the port on the day of the boat’s departure.

The decor

On the decorative side, the whole can recall the chic of the Andrée Putman years mixed with the cruising spirit of the great crossings of yesteryear. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 9/10 – The forced break due to the cessation of cruises has not been a useless period for the ship. Passengers rediscover a more beautiful Club Med 2: the very long mahogany balustrades have been revarnished, the 2,000 m2 of teak have been given a new lease of life while behind the scenes the boat has been lightened by more than 25 tonnes. New, lighter materials have been chosen for machinery, including those related to ventilation systems. This minor facelift heralds future renovations, in particular that of the restaurant Le Magellan with its somewhat dated atmosphere. The dominant feature of the decoration is that of French chic yachting with a triptych of blue, white and pastel that never goes out of style. The ensemble is reminiscent of the chic of the Andrée Putman years mixed with the cruising spirit of the great crossings of yesteryear. This unity of tone is found in the well-designed cabins to comfortably tackle the longest navigations. The thirty-year-old boat is maintained with care by the technical crew, the aim being to reach a happy and smooth quarantine.

The cabins

The whole is very comfortable, from the bedding to the storage spaces. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 8/10 – The boat offers 184 cabins classified into three categories: Superior, Deluxe and Suite. The luxury yacht atmosphere prevails in all configurations: only the surface area changes from 18 m2 to 40 m2, the most spacious option being that of the Owner’s Suite. The whole is very comfortable, from the bedding to the storage spaces. The bathrooms are equipped with Sothys hospitality products. Like the common areas, the cabins are dressed in wood and equipped with elegant furniture that will never go out of fashion.

Service and equipment

Club Med 2 has a Sothys spa, two swimming pools, a gym and a yacht club. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 9/10 – The protocol has been adapted to the health crisis. The buffets have not disappeared, passengers are invited to make their choice of dish while the service is provided by restaurant staff. This rule applies to all three services: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opening hours have been extended while the distances between the tables inside have been spaced out. These new procedures in no way affect the good mood of the staff, the requirement to wear a mask inside is recalled with a big smile. The room service is impeccable worthy of a very large hotel. Club Med 2 has a Sothys spa, two swimming pools, a gym and a yacht club at the rear of the ship located on a retractable deck. The latter is one of Club Med’s most successful attractions: almost all activities are possible. Let yourself be tempted by water skiing off Saint-Tropez, paddleboarding in the bay of Cannes or even snorkeling off the Lérins Islands.

At the table and at the bar

The “Magellan”, open only in the evening by reservation, offers a gastronomic menu. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 8/10 – Club Med 2 has three bars (two outside and one inside for festive evenings) and two restaurants: the “Méditerranée” and the “Magellan”. The new season announces an association with the hotel school Ferrandi. The chefs of this Parisian institution have drawn up a menu for the boat. The “Méditerranée” buffet is varied and pleasant, like those that have made Club Med’s reputation around the world. At breakfast, juices are pressed on demand, lunches and dinners combine the gourmet and the concern for well-being. You can easily alternate between the desire to indulge yourself by choosing a generous paella or a lighter and more robust cuisine with lobster or salads to compose. The “Magellan”, open only in the evening by reservation, offers a gastronomic menu. Note for the latter that the choice of dishes is very limited for vegetarian passengers. The two bars at the back of the boat benefit from impeccable service and a nice cocktail menu.

Value for money

A constant at Club Med, cruise prices are all-inclusive. Club Med / Press Photo

Note ? 8/10 – From the five-night mini-cruise between Calvi and Bandol from €1,558 per person to the eleven-night mini-cruise in Greece and Italy from €4,122 per person in a superior room, the range of choices is wide. For the Caribbean, the prices announced for this fall are from €2,168 per adult, for a departure on November 28 from the British Virgin Islands.

The constant: the prices of the cruise are given all inclusive including sports activities, catering (including the Magellan), alcohol, bar and tea time. Children benefit from a reduction for 8 to 11 years old -50% and for 12-17 years old -20% on cruise prices. The advertised prices do not include a flight, however it is advisable to book air travel via Club Med, as customers benefit from advantageous pricing conditions.

Reservations: clubmed.com, via group agencies or by telephone: 01 85 64 89 90.

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