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
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

Understated and elegant, Ponant's 264-guest L’Austral takes cruisers to explore remote regions of the globe in considerable style — as do its “sisterships” Le Boreal, Le Lyrial, and Le Soléal. The megayacht 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: In 2016, Ponant joined forces with Ducasse Conseil, a catering consulting business run by acclaimed French Chef Alain Ducasse, to ensure the already superb cuisine in Le Coromandel — as well as other restaurants in the line's fleet — is of the highest quality and reflects the regions where the ships sail. 

Wellness Amenities: Managed by Paris-based Sothys and using mainly 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 Superior Staterooms are without private balconies.

Creative Itineraries: L’Austral sets its compass to the edges of the globe, offering expedition voyages to Antarctica, leisurely ocean crossings, and culture-centric cruises in the Mediterranean.

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 generally geared toward a French audience and can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the parties at Le Comptoir pool bar are often lively.