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

Antartica and the Austral Loop on Ponant L'Austral

L'Austral Cruise Review by Cruising Kangaroo

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2018
  • Destination: Antarctica

We chose Ponant for our Antactic cruise because of their high reputation for expedition cruises and general high quality reputation for food, service etc. our cruise was excellent in almost every way. The quality of the food, wine and service on board was always of the highest quality. Our balcony cabin was comfortable, although the bathroom is small because the toilet is in a separate compartment. This trade off is quite OK. more seating would be welcome but there is no room.

The expedition landings were virtually faultless. The expedition leader, Florence, was incredibly good. She worked tirelessly and endlessly to ensure that landings were interesting and safe. The team leaders were also excellent, very well informed and very enthusiastic. All landings went off perfectly and luckily, our weather was good to excellent.

The experience was memorable and sometimes a little overwhelming in the grandeur and isolation. We would highly recommend an Antarctic cruise and highly recommend Ponant. Their organisation is down to a fine art and everything runs smoothly, at least for passengers. No doubt their is a huge effort behind the scenes to get to this level of perfection.

The only disappointment with the whole trip was the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and back. The flight is a charter with Latam and is very poor in every way. The seats are the tightest and most uncomfortable I have ever experienced and the aircraft has one toilet for 180 passengers. There is no galley so you get only a small bag of biscuits and a soft drink for the 4 hour flight. On the return flight, 30 bags were left in Ushuaia ,and arrived 4 hours later. Some people had connecting flights and could not have received their bags in time.This is not Ponant's fault but needs to be fixed.

Although Ponant is priced as a luxury line, it is less expensive for Antarctic cruises than many others. The ships are purpose designed for expeditions and yet are still luxury in terms of passenger comfort, amenity and service. They are value for money. We would certainly recommend Ponant for Antarctic cruises.

Cruising Kangaroo's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin Balcony 319

Comfortable but small. Although the bathroom is small, the toilet is separate so the trade off is worth it. The bed was comfortable and the cabin service was good. the balcony is not large but we would recommend a balcony cabin because of the ability to get outside quickly when something interesting happens, such as whale sightings. Our cabin was on deck 3 and had a steel balustrade, but we didn't find this a problem.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Tierra del Fuego National Park

A bus trip with a nice lunch.

View All 93 Tierra del Fuego National Park Reviews

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