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  • Ponant-Laustral-stateroom.jpg - L'Austral, a Ponant yacht, features luxurious staterooms and first-class service.
  • Ponant-Austral-cabin.jpg - After a day of shore excursions you'll enjoy relaxing in your luxury cabin on Ponant's L'Austral.
  • Austral-exterior.jpg - Ponant's L'Austral en route to her next exotic destination.
  • Ponant-in-Greenland.jpg - L'Austral and Le Boreal are among the luxury expedition ships from Ponant that visit Greenland.
  • Austral-exterior.jpg - Ponant's L'Austral en route to her next exotic destination.
  • Ponant-in-Greenland.jpg - L'Austral and Le Boreal are among the luxury expedition ships from Ponant that visit Greenland.
  • Ponant-Laustral-deck-port.jpg - Enjoy scenic ports from the deck of a Ponant Yacht. Book a cruise on L'Austral today.
  • Ponant-Austral-suite.jpg - Enjoy breakfast in bed in your suite when entering a new port on Ponant's L'Austral.
  • Ponant-al-fresco-dining.jpg - Enjoy refreshing sea and land views during al fresco dining on your Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-dining.jpg -  Dine on French fusion cuisine, such as carpaccio of yellow fin tuna or pan-fried filet steak and finish your meal with panna cotta with red berry fruits on your Ponant sailing.
  • Ponant-dining-alfresco.jpg - Enjoy exquisite foods and well paired wines when dining al fresco on a Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-LeBoreal-deck-champagne.jpg - Sip fine Champagne on deck with fellow shipmates as you leave port on deck on your Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-cruise-life.jpg - Enjoy a good book + cool drink + sunshine on deck on your Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-Austral-poolside.jpg - Relax by the pool on Ponant's luxury expedition ship L'Austral.
  • Ponant-butler-on-deck.jpg - Have a butler pamper yourself on a Ponant cruise with canapes on deck.
  • Ponant-champagne.jpg - Sunset and a perfectly chilled glass of champagne make for a perfect vacation escape on a Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-fitness.jpg - Stay fit while exploring new vistas on a Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-Austral-lounge.jpg - Relax and meet new friends in the lounge on L'Austral, a luxury ship from Ponant.
  • Ponant-Yacht-Cruise-poolside.jpg - Relax poolside as your Ponant ship slips into small bays and secluded coves.
  • Ponant-whale.jpg - A humpback whale breaches the surface, seen on a Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-in-Greenland.jpg - L'Austral and Le Boreal are among the luxury expedition ships from Ponant that visit Greenland.
  • Ponant-tropical-fish.png - Snorkel and scuba dive to see tropical fish up close as part of your Ponant cruise experience.
  • Ponant-whale-fin.png - See nature in a whole new way on a Ponant luxury expedition cruise when you set sail on Le Boreal from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Antarctica.
  • Iceland-Reykjavik - The cityscape in Reykjavík, capital of Iceland.
  • Ponant-Antarctica-Bongrain-Pt.jpg - See the wonders of Antarctica on Ponant's Le Lyrial. Here's Bongrain Point on Pourquoi Pas Island.
  • Ponant-Antarctica-penguins.jpg - Cruise Ponant to Antarctica and get up close and personal with some king penguins.
  • Ponant-Antarctica-whale.jpg - See whales close up on your Ponant cruise to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Antarctica.jpg - Sail on a Ponant luxury expedition ship from Ushuaia, Argentina, to  Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-cliffs-snow.jpg - Sail from Argentina to Antarctice on Ponant's luxury expedition ship Le Lyrial.
  • Ponant-Argentina-King-Penguin.jpg - View king penguins on your Ponant cruise from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-King-Penguins2.jpg - Get up close and personal with king penguins on your Ponant cruise to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-orca.jpg - Watch orcas from the deck of a Ponant luxury expedition cruise from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-penguin-beach.jpg - Come see majestic Magellanic penguins on a Ponant cruise from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-penguin-sea.jpg - Frolic along with the penguins on a Ponant cruise from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-penguin-young.jpg - A penguin checking on her chicks, seen on a Ponant cruise.
  • Ponant-Argentina-seal-chill.jpg - Chill out, like this seal, during a Ponant cruise to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-snows-pano.jpg - A panoramic shot of Ponant's Le Lyrial during a sailing from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Argentina-whale-tail.jpg - Watch whales from the deck of a Ponant luxury expedition cruise from Argentina to Antarctica.
  • Ponant-Brazil-Bahia-woman.jpg - Meet locals and get immersed in local culture during a Ponant cruise to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.
  • Ponant-New-Zealand-sheep.jpg - You'll run into sheep wherever you travel on New Zealand's South Island.
  • Ponant-NewZealand-Auckland-skyline.jpg - Enjoy the nightlife of Auckland, New Zealand, on Ponant's L'Austral.

L'Austral: Luxury expedition cruising from Ponant

Have you sailed on L’Austral? We'd love to hear your take and see your photos. The following information was curated by Cruiseable.

Snapshot

Launched in 2011, L’Austral from France-based Ponant provides an intimate, luxurious cruise experience. Her small size makes her ideally suited for visiting ports that bigger ships can’t reach. L’Austral sports six decks and 132 sophisticated staterooms decorated by French designers, all of which have ocean views and a majority of which feature private balconies.

On board you'll find a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and opportunities for well-being, starting with a sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light. The design blends tradition and innovation in a way that contributes to an upscale nautical mood, combining to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht.

Languages spoken on board are English and French. The crew is bilingual, with many  service staff from Asia.

Where L’Austral sails

You will encounter unique itineraries with ports inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine. Choose a journey from Port Vila (Vanuatu) to Kotakinabalu (Indonesia) visiting many small islands and ports along the way. Equally exotic is a cruise from Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) to Nome, Alaska on the Northwest Passage.

In addition to Ponant cruises, L’Austral also sails as part of the Tauck fleet a few weeks a year, to Iceland, Scandinavia, St. Petersburg, the Baltic Sea, Antarctica and Southeast Asia.

L'Austral cruises through many northern seas, including Iceland and the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Nathalie Michel / Courtesy of Ponant L’Austral cruises through many northern seas, including Iceland and the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Ratings & awards

Cruiseable         
Berlitz         

About Ratings & awards

Cruises on this ship

An all-inclusive experience

Here is what is included in your fare: all drinks, table wine for lunch and dinner, bottled mineral water, port charges and Zodiac excursions when the ship operates special expedition-style cruises.

Here is what is not included: gratuities, Wi-Fi and spa treatments.

Dining & amenities

  • Le Restaurant Gastronomique, the elegant main dining room serving French and international cuisine
  • Casual Le Grill Restaurant
  • Three lounges offering evening entertainment, bars and access to the open decks
  • Le Théâtre hosting informative lectures and entertainment
  • Fitness and beauty corner
  • Medical center
  • Multiple observation areas

Staterooms

  • Staterooms range in size from 200 to 210 sq. ft.
  • Suites range in size from 301 to 398 sq. ft.
  • All suites have ocean views and 95% have private balconies
  • Staterooms are decorated by French designers and offer individually controlled air conditioning, twin beds converting to a queen-size bed (or one queen bed)
  • DVD/CD player
  • Flat-screen TV with satellite channels
  • Electronic safe
  • Minibar

Your take

Have you cruised on L'Austral? What was the highlight? We'd love to hear about your experience.

Help improve this article. See anything wrong? What did we overlook? Be a co-creator!

Interested in a cruise on this ship?

SEE ALL L'AUSTRAL SAILINGS

Cruiseable team
The Cruiseable editorial team consists of award-winning travel writers, cruise bloggers and journalists.

Top highlights on this ship

  • What: Panoramic Lounge
  • Where: Deck 6

  • What: Well-appointed suites
  • Where: Shipwide

  • What: Pool
  • Where: Main deck
  • Three lounges offering evening entertainment, bars and access to the open decks
  • Suites featuring ocean views and private balconies
  • Multiple observation areas
  • French sophistication at every turn

Fast facts

264 Passengers [?]
139 Crew
6 Decks
2011 Maiden voyage
10,944 Tonnage [?]
465 Length in feet
59 Width in feet (max beam)
132 Staterooms

Overheard

“One of three identical sister ships (the others are Le Boreal and Le Soleal) catering to French speakers, L’Austral (“South Wind”) is a gem of contemporary design — chic and uncluttered. With a dark gray hull and sleek white superstructure, it looks like a large private yacht rather than a traditional cruise ship.”

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships

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