Club Med’s Vincent Giraud talks to Travel Courier about the US$10 million refresh to Club Med 2 and what’s trending with Canadians
Following a multimillion-dollar refresh, Club Med’s sailing yacht Club Med 2 relaunched in December with revamped lounge, bar and restaurant spaces, new fitness equipment, new teak decks, new sails, and more.
“The bars have been redesigned with new elegant yachting furniture reinforcing the maritime identity of the sailing yacht,” Vincent Giraud, Managing Director of Club Med Canada and North America Sales Operations, tells Travel Courier. “One of the restaurants also had a complete renovation. The Monte Carlo restaurant offers a plated service format as an alternative dining option to the buffet restaurant. It remains included as part of our all-inclusive offer. The menus are made in partnership with the French gastronomic school Ferrandi.”
Catering to families, groups and couples like Club Med’s sun and ski resorts, Club Med 2 offers 184 cabins for a guest capacity of 368 passengers. There’s dedicated children’s programs in the summer, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and a Club Med Spa by Sothys at an additional cost year-round for relaxation. Also new to the latest offerings is the addition of a sundeck yoga experience.
“The experience has also been enhanced with two new watersports available: wing surf and eclipse mirage complete an offer of more than 10 water sports offered from our nautical hall (waterski, SUP, kayak, snorkelling),” Giraud shares.
During the winter, Club Med 2 sailed the Caribbean (including a novelty cruise between Cuba and Colombia) and is heading to the Mediterranean sea for the summer. Meanwhile, the ship’s moderate size compared to most cruise ships allows it to visit smaller ports.
“Among the summer itineraries, we can highlight a new 21-day cruise departing from Nice and ending in Athens. It will take our clients to the volcanic island of Lipari or the beautiful Istanbul, allowing them to discover part of a multi-millennial history,” Giraud says, adding that occupancy rates for itineraries in the Caribbean sea were great. “We will also have shorter itineraries to discover the Greek wonders with a cruise along the Greek islands from Athens to Corfu (from July 29 to August 5) or between Greece and Turkey, from Athens to Istanbul (from July 15 to July 22).”
Next winter, Club Med 2 will offer a new all-inclusive Caribbean Beach Club day trip excursion featuring beach activities, water sports, live music, and beachside lunch with free-flowing champagne and refreshments. The excursion will be offered in destinations like Isla Catalina, Dominican Republic; Mayreau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Prickly Pear Island, Antigua and Barbuda.
“[Overall] the outcome is a more contemporary experience, but Club Med 2 remains true to its original spirit: reconnecting its passengers to the magic of the great crossings of the beginning of the last century and an unprecedented communion with the seas and oceans,” he says.
Closer to home, Giraud says that Club Med Québec Charlevoix will soon start its second summer season, which is “a great opportunity to discover Le Massif de Charlevoix while hiking or biking downhill. It can also be the perfect destination for a wellness retreat thanks to our extensive yoga and meditation program or our Spa by Sothys.”
In other news, renovations are underway at Club Med Punta Cana, including its Hispaniola restaurant, set to be completed this summer.
“In a few months, the first season of our newly opened Club Med Val d’Isère will also start,” he adds. “This Exclusive Collection Resort, our first in the Alps, is an ideal destination for families looking for a high-end nature retreat in an authentic alpine resort.”
As for trends, he says Canadian bookings for Michès Playa Esmeralda in the Dominican Republic remain strong.
“We definitely see a high demand for our Exclusive Collection range that groups our most high-end destinations and categories of accommodations with exclusive services and dedicated teams aiming to meet our clients’ increasingly demanding travel aspirations,” he says.