- year built
- crew members
- 466 feet
- 59 feet
- 15.3 feet
- cruising speed
- 14 knots
- ice class
L’Austral is a graceful expedition ship that accommodates up to 264 guests (200 in Antarctica) on her global itineraries. L’Austral embodies the subtle alliance between luxury, intimacy and well-being. The elegance of her exterior and interior lines and her intimate size make her a rare and innovative yacht. Built in 2011 in the Fincantieri shipyard, L’Austral features Italian engineering and designer Jean-Philippe Nuel’s interpretation of French sophistication. L’Austral is one of four sister ships with Le Boreal, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial. The ship has a unique style and a true signature design that blends tradition and innovation.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ L’Austral review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery, along with a dedicated L’Austral Ship Review written by one of our specialists. Our expedition ship experts have been aboard L’Austral firsthand. Please read our L’Austral review below then contact our experts to compare L’Austral with other small cruise ships and polar expedition ships offering Antarctica cruises.
Choose L’Austral for her blend of luxury, gastronomy, wellness, entertainment and active programming. Experience expedition cruising paired with French-inspired elegance and European sensibility and craftsmanship aboard this 7-deck, modern ship. A plethora of public spaces, combined with 95% of staterooms and suites offering a private balcony, create opportunities for intimate connections and extraordinary moments. For these, and many other reasons, L’Austral is among our top choices for passengers seeking Antarctica luxury cruises.
Safety, Sustainability & Accessibility Aboard L’Austral
L’Austral has been carefully designed to offer the highest standards of luxury and safety, both for her guests and for the natural environment. L’Austral and her sister ships are the only ones in their class to be certified “Clean Ships” by Bureau Veritas, one of the world’s foremost stewards of ecologically sound travel. The onboard silent electric propulsion system helps cut carbon emissions by 40%. Dynamic Positioning, a sophisticated GPS and propulsion system, keeps the ship in a fixed location without need of an anchor. Advanced filtration systems treat and recycle all wastewater. Onboard storage holds compacted items for later recycling ashore. The CFR and LED lighting throughout uses just 10% of the electrical power of older, more traditional systems. And advanced sonar provides the captain and officers with rolling 3D views of the ocean floor, icebergs and ice floes, enabling L’Austral to keep her distance from marine animals. L’Austral is fully ADA compliant, with 3 accessible staterooms, 4 elevators and lifts up and down stairways for easy access to all decks and public areas of the ship.
Common Areas Aboard L’Austral
A nautical atmosphere of relaxed sophistication welcomes guests with shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan. Panoramic windows throughout the ship’s many common areas reveal the beautiful areas that only a small expedition ship can access. The Lobby offers a constantly-staffed concierge lounge, including reception, guest relations, concierge service and an excursions desk. The Panoramic Lounge’s library engages passengers in reference materials reflecting the global destinations L’Austral visits; an Internet desk ensures guests stay connected while at sea. The Theater acts as the main venue for conferences and live entertainment on named evenings, featuring state-of-the-art audio and video technology. Finally, the ship’s infirmary is available 24 hours a day and is equipped to treat non-emergency matters. A doctor is available for a nominal fee.
Dining Aboard L’Austral
Coffee, tea, fruit juices and a selection of pastries are available to early-birds and late-risers from 6:30am to 10:00am, in the Main Lounge. Every day, the Gastronomic Restaurant invites guests into an elegant main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner highlighting both French and international gourmet cuisine, including local specialties of the various ports that the ship visits. The Ducasse Conseil-trained chefs create a special menu offered aboard L’Austral, including accommodation for special diets (with advance notice) and groups through customized menus. A fine wine cellar rounds out the experience. The Grill Restaurant provides a casual eating venue for breakfast, buffet lunch and occasional themed dinners. Alfresco dining aboard L’Austral may also be available at certain times. The Main Lounge and Panoramic Lounge, each with access to an outside terrace, creates a space for afternoon tea and specialty drinks from their cocktail bars. The open-air bar on Deck 7 is an ideal setting for a sunset drink overlooking the pool.
Activities Aboard L’Austral
Every day aboard L’Austral is a new opportunity for adventure, connection and refined leisure. A multitude of daily onboard activities engage passengers while the ship moves to its next off-ship activity site. Live jazz, piano melodies, karaoke and dance performances will regale music and theater enthusiasts. Hosted workout, yoga and dance classes keep active guests on their feet. Organized card games bring players together. Focused photography workshops offer tips to photographers new and old. And wine, spirits and specialty foods tastings enliven the tastebuds of any foodies aboard.
The Main and Panoramic lounges entice guests to celebrate the day with live music and dancing on select evenings. The Leisure Area’s Wii™ and board games offer amusement as the ship repositions; a children’s area on Deck 5 additionally provides games and books. The Fitness room’s Kinesis wall, weight training gym equipment, treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bikes enable passengers to maintain strength routines. And with its hairdressing salon, two massage rooms, Balneotherapy room, Hammam (Moroccan steam spa), relaxation room and herbal tea bar, the SOTHYS™ Spa/Beauty Corner provides opportunities for respite and rejuvenation during each cruise departure. Provided stationery in each stateroom and suite can be mailed via the Reception desk. The open Bridge policy invites passengers to talk with the captain and crew (by prior approval), and learn about L’Austral’s state-of-the-art navigation technology.
L’Austral is equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs which comfortably transport guests to shore and allow for exceptional discoveries of wildlife and the surrounding coastal landscapes. This is an absolute must for exploratory excursions along coastlines or for accessing shallow water ports. Zodiac launches are conducted from the stern via the ship’s stable marine platform.
Crew & Guides Aboard L’Austral
L’Austral’s impeccably trained staff focus on guest comfort with discreet-yet-attentive service that has become legendary among discriminating travelers. Cruising aboard L’Austral is enhanced by her sophisticated crew who help create the feeling of being aboard a private yacht. Multi-lingual guides offer lectures on various specialty topics throughout each departure.
Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard L’Austral
All accommodations are spacious, with touches of luxury throughout. Each stateroom or suite features the option of one king-size bed or two twin beds, individually-controlled air-conditioning, minibar, flat-screen satellite TV, desk with stationery, Ipod™ players, on-demand video, a safe, hairdryer, bathrobes, a 110/220-volt outlet, French bath products, 24-hour room service, complimentary WiFi Internet access and added-fee satellite direct-line telephone. Laundry service is available for a fee.