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L'Austral Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
106 Reviews

Disappointing in many ways

L'Austral Cruise Review by BettyBetty

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2016
  • Destination: the Arctic

The expeditions on this cruise were amazing. The scenery, the wildlife and the excursions onshore in the remote arctic were the stuff of dreams and I would do it all again.

But I would do it on a different ship and with a different cruise line.

This was expensive (very expensive) and was billed as '5 star luxury' but it was really at the class of the Queen Victoria (Cunard) - ie a good mid-level, small ship. It's not anywhere near the luxury levels of Silverseas or Regent. For example, the room only had one chair, not two nor a couch so that at any time in the room one of us had to sit on the bed. There were no rugs for covering us when on the balcony so we couldn't comfortably sit outside to watch the icebergs. And the main lounge opened onto the 'smokers deck' and was always having cold and smoky air rush in.

Curiously, for a French line, the food was probably the most disappointing aspect. Well, that and the pushiness of most other passengers. It did not cater well for vegetarians and not at all for vegans. When specific foods were checked, the sous chef was abrupt to the point of rudeness in his responses. Not really good enough.

The embarkation and disembarkation were disorganised (and, yes, I appreciate that neither Kangerlussuaq nor Nome are set up for big groups) but the arrangements were not good and the charter flights were very basic. It was not pleasant being in the crush for seats when boarding and then landing in Seattle late at night was tiring.

If you look at just the 'expediaiton' nature of this cruise, then I would wholeheartedly recommend it. It was truly wonderful. But the luxury aspect wasn't.

BettyBetty's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Smallish, and very small when considered in the realm of luxury cruising. No couch, just one chair for the cabin. Very comfortable bed though.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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4 Reviews Written
32 Helpful Votes
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