Compagnie du Ponant
L'Austral Review and Specifications
Specifications of L'Austral
|Year built||2011 / Age : 7|
|Flag state||Wallis and Futuna|
|Builder||Fincantieri (Ancona, Italy)|
|Class||ice-strengthened cruise ship|
|Building cost||USD 150 million|
|Owner||Groupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault)|
|Operator||Compagnie du Ponant Cruises|
|Speed||16 kn / 30 kph / 18 mph|
|Length (LOA)||142 m / 466 ft|
|Beam (width)||18 m / 59 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||10944 gt|
|Passengers||224 - 264|
|Decks with cabins||6|
Review of L'Austral
Launched in 2011, L'Austral is the 2nd in a series of four identical Compagnie du Ponant cruise ships, together with Le Boreal, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial. All these vessels feature ice-strengthened hulls, sleek-design superstructures, Zodiacs for ship-to-shore landing and coastal cruising itinerary routes (featuring overnight stays, long port days and late evening departures).
History - construction and ownership
Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) is a French cruise shipping company founded in April 1988 by former French Merchant Navy officers. All Ponant ships are France-flagged. The company specializes in premium adventure cruise travel targeting the French-speaking source market with all-inclusive deals. Most of CDP's fleet is based in Antarctica (December through March). All these mega-yachts offer modern amenities, premium service by highly-traned staff and crew, 5-star hotel amenities onboard. Exotic, offbeat itineraries visit popular travel destinations worldwide, including Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, South America, Australia.
The 10,944-ton, 264-passenger cruise ship L'Austral has been part of the fleet of Compagnie du Ponant since May 2011. The vessel was built with French style in the well known Italian shipyard Fincantieri, the design was made by Jean-Philippe Nuel. The mega-yacht has 132 cabins and represents the view of the company - unique atmosphere, luxury and intimacy.
Cruise itinerary program
L'Austral itinerary program is based on Alaska and Antarctica cruises. The ship also operates in Asia with departures from Japan and China, and in the South Pacific leaving from French Polynesia/Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand.
Most L'Austral staterooms are 200-sq.foot Prestige cabins (92). There are a total of 132 staterooms in 9 categories. The largest aboard L'Austral is the Owner’s Suite (485 ft2). All staterooms have been decorated by French designers, offer individually controlled air conditioning, flat-screen TVs, DVD/CD player, twin beds, minibar and electronic safe.
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
L’Austral cruise ship is small enough and provides a truly intimate experience. This special yacht is ideally suited to visit ports of call that bigger ships cannot reach. On board, L’Austral offers two restaurants – the casual Le Grill and the Gastronomic restaurant (the main dining room serving international and French cuisine).
Follows the complete list of L'Austral restaurants and food bars.
- Gastronomic Restaurant (“Le Coromandel”, 268-seat, ship’s MDR; serves International upscale cuisine; offers open-seating dining, with buffet-style breakfast and lunch, waiter served dinner)
- Grill Restaurant (“Le Rodrigues”, offers open-seating buffet breakfast and lunch, served dinner; has an outdoor seating area).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
L’Austral represents indubitably, luxury, the French style, the combination of tradition and innovations. The vessel is elegant and combines a balance between chic and casual. L’Austral has three lounges which offer bars and evening entertainment. Le Théâtre hosts informative lectures. The yacht has one pool, a library and an internet station. Alongside this, L’Austral also boasts a beauty center, spa and fitness equipment.
Follows the complete list of L'Austral lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- The Marina (water sports platform; offers mostly swimming; it is used only when L’Austral is anchored and the sea is calm)
- L’Austral Atrium (2-deck high open-floor area; features a chandelier with Swarovski crystals)
- Main Lounge (“Karikal Lounge”, with large-size LED screen and floor-ceiling windows; offers early breakfast, specialty teas and coffees, Afternoon Tea complemented with gourmet cookies and fine chocolates; evening entertainment features live performances by resident singer and pianist and an art auction, once per L’Austral cruise; the outdoor aft terrace is the only one smoking area on board)
- Boutique Shop (esigner clothing, luxury jewelry, Ponant logo merchandise, special occasion gifts)
- Theatre (main show lounge for music and dance shows)
- Wellness Centre (Spa, Balneo Room, Hammam, Massage Room, Beauty Corner, Hair Salon, Shower Room, Relaxation Room, a spacious terrace)
- The Fitness (gym room with panoramic windows)
- Leisure Area (has a small kids playroom, Photo Gallery, Image & Photo desk via partnership with Philippe Plisson, and Internet stations)
- Image and Photo Desk
- Swimming pool’s sunbathing area (with luxury loungers)
- Panoramic Lounge and Bar (with an Internet corner, grand piano, Library, “Panoramic Terrace” - served by the Panoramic Bar, it is the ship’s late-night “disco”)
- Sun Deck (open-air sunbathing area, served by the “Le Comptoir” bar, with luxury loungers, padded chairs, showers, deck games - Shuffleboard, Golf Driving Net, 9-hole Mini-Golf)
- Zodiacs (inflatable boats).
- L'Austral cruise ship is the second in a three yachts' series commissioned by the Compagnie du Ponant line. Her identical sisters are Le Boreal (2010), Le Soleal (2013), and Le Lyrial (2015).
- Compagnie du Ponant is originally French-owned, aimed exclusively at the French cruising market. In 2006, the company was acquired by the CMA CGM (a cargo shipping giant) and in 2012 was sold on to Bridgepoint Capital (pan-European equity investor). With the launch of the three new cruise ships, Compagnie du Ponant has been targeting an international market, though the essence of its product remains unchanged, with strong French influence.
- The L’Austral ship differs from other luxury cruise vessels with adventurous itineraries. The three sisters have ice-strengthened hulls, and can sail in the Arctic and Antarctica regions. Each of them carries a fleet of Zodiacs for sightseeing. The Ponant company emphasizes on coastal cruising, long days in port, and late departures.
- The vessel is a certified "Cleanship" (like the sisterships), featuring a modern marine propulsion system. It provides smooth and quiet navigation by creating reduced engine noise and little vibration. The modern vessel positioning system eliminates the need for the ship to anchor in order to remain stable, thus preventing contacts with seabeds in environmentally sensitive areas, such as coral reefs.
L'Austral - user reviews and comments
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Other Compagnie du Ponant cruise ships
The below listed L'Austral cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Compagnie du Ponant fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2018 Nov 20||16 days, round-trip The Great Austral Loop||Buenos Aires||$10904|
|2018 Dec 05||16 days, round-trip The Great Austral Loop||Buenos Aires||$8304|
|2018 Dec 14||16 days, round-trip The Great Austral Loop||Buenos Aires||$8304|
|2018 Dec 30||11 days, round-trip New Year’s Day in the Polar Regions||Buenos Aires||$6696|
|2018 Dec 30||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$6696|
|2019 Jan 09||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$6696|
|2019 Jan 19||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$7070|
|2019 Jan 21||6 days, one-way from Wellington to Sydney||Wellington||$3478|
|2019 Feb 07||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$6696|
|2019 Feb 17||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$6696|
|2019 Feb 27||16 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Montevideo||Buenos Aires||$7565|
|2019 Mar 14||5 days, one-way from Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro||Montevideo||$722|
|2019 Mar 18||17 days, one-way from Rio de Janeiro to Dakar||Rio de Janeiro||$3800|
|2019 Apr 03||10 days, one-way from Dakar to Lisbon||Dakar||$2765|
|2019 Apr 13||9 days, one-way from Lisbon to Portsmouth||Lisbon||$3452|
|2019 Apr 22||7 days, one-way from Portsmouth to Dublin||Portsmouth||$2061|
|2019 Apr 29||7 days, one-way from Dublin to Portsmouth||Dublin||$2061|
|2019 May 24||9 days, one-way from Tromso to Longyearbyen||Tromso||$6104|
|2019 Jun 02||7 days, round-trip The Best of Spitsbergen||Longyearbyen||$5235|
|2019 Jun 14||7 days, round-trip The Best of Spitsbergen||Longyearbyen||$5548|
|2019 Jun 30||12 days, round-trip Discovery of the King of the Arctic||Longyearbyen||$8652|
|2019 Jul 12||14 days, one-way from Longyearbyen to Kangerlussuaq||Longyearbyen||$7730|
|2019 Jul 26||17 days, round-trip Ultima Thule, the horizontal Everest||Kangerlussuaq||$11548|
|2019 Aug 11||13 days, round-trip Baffin Bay Secrets||Kangerlussuaq||$9078|
|2019 Aug 24||22 days, one-way from Kangerlussuaq to Nome||Kangerlussuaq||$19157|
|2019 Sep 15||14 days, one-way from Nome to Vancouver||Nome||$6487|
|2019 Oct 11||14 days, one-way from Puerto Vallarta to Panama City||Puerto Vallarta||$3615|
|2019 Oct 23||9 days, one-way from Panama City to Callao||Panama City||$2753|
|2019 Nov 01||5 days, one-way from Callao to Valparaiso||Callao||$800|
|2019 Nov 05||12 days, one-way from Valparaiso to Ushuaia||Valparaiso||$3949|
|2019 Nov 15||16 days, round-trip The Great Austral Loop||Buenos Aires||$10017|
|2019 Dec 20||18 days, round-trip Christmas and New Year in Southern lands||Ushuaia||$10809|
|2020 Jan 05||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$7235|
|2020 Jan 15||18 days, round-trip Beyond the Polar Circle||Ushuaia||$12722|
|2020 Feb 17||11 days, round-trip Emblematic Antarctica||Buenos Aires||$6852|
|2020 Feb 28||16 days, one-way from Buenos Aires to Montevideo||Buenos Aires||$7487|
|2020 Aug 24||22 days, one-way from Kangerlussuaq to Nome||Kangerlussuaq||$19042|