L'Austral / Ponant / Nathalie Michel
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Sundeck / Ponant / Erick Larrieu
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Prestige Stateroom
Prestige Stateroom / Ponant / François Lefebvre
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L'Austral / Ponant
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Our Ship Review
Cruise Line
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Understated and elegant, Ponant's 264-passenger L’Austral takes cruisers to explore remote regions of the globe in considerable style. The mega-yacht is streamlined and sophisticated, with a subdued palette and an abundance of white leather in the cabins, where a glass panel in the bathroom allows natural light to illuminate the opalescent-white tiling and dark teak floors.

What We Love

The Focus on Food: Ponant recently announced that it will join forces with Ducasse Conseil, a catering consulting business run by Alain Ducasse, to ensure the already superb cuisine in Le Coromandel — as well as other restaurants in the line's five-ship fleet — is taken to new heights.

Wellness Amenities: Managed by Paris-based Sothys and using only its products, L'Austral's spa offers professional massage therapies and body treatments. There’s also a hammam, a fitness center, and a Kinesis wall.

Best Known For

Luxe Accommodations: The ship has six categories of cabins, all decorated in soothing variations of grey, taupe, and ivory. Only the seven smaller Cabin Superior units are without private balconies.

Creative Itineraries: L’Austral sets its compass to the edges of the globe, offering leisurely cruises to Asia, Northern Europe and Greenland, Arctic Canada, Australia, and Pacific Russia.

Who It's Best For

Dedicated Cruisers Seeking Experiential Sailings: There’s typically a convivial bunch of international passengers on board who are interested in exploring lesser-traveled regions. Well-run tours are offered in both English and French, although in remote regions Ponant is constrained by available transportation.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Entertainment Doesn't Always Translate: Shows in the La Compagnie Theatre are geared toward a French audience and can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the parties at Le Comptoir pool bar are often lively.