L'Austral is a cruise ship operated by the French cruise line company Compagnie du Ponant. It is the sister vessel of Le Boréal and Le Soléal, being the same weight, length and breadth, along with having 132 cabins and suites for 264 passengers and 140 crew members like the other two ships. L'Austral was built in 2010 at Fincantieri's Ancona shipyard, Italy.[2] L'Austral was put into service on April 20, 2011.

L'Austral cruise ship in the port of Pula
Name: L'Austral
Owner: Compagnie du Ponant
Operator: Compagnie du Ponant
Builder: Fincantieri
Completed: 2011
Status: In service
General characteristics
Tonnage: 10,700 GT[1]
Length: 142 m (466 ft)
Beam: 18 m (59 ft)
Draft: 4.7 m (15 ft)
Decks: 6 (guest decks)
Capacity: 264 passengers
Crew: 136

In 2018, Compagnie du Ponant and ship master of the L'Austral, Captain Regis Daumesnil, were charged by both Maritime NZ and the Department of Conservation (DoC) for "or endangering human life and entering a prohibited zone" [3] following the grounding of the cruise ship L'Austral on an uncharted rock near North East Island, the main island of the Snares Islands group, on January 9, 2017[4]. The grounding resulted in the L'Austral's hull being punctured in three places.[4] With damage to the ship's hull, Captain Daumesnil sailed 285km south to the Auckland Islands rather than seek the nearest port in Bluff, New Zealand.[3] The captain was fined NZ $30,000 and Ponant fined NZ $70,000.[3]

On on 9 February 2017, L’Austral collided with a stony bank near Milford Sound, New Zealand.[5]


On board, L'Austral has two restaurants, the Gastronomic restaurant, and the grill restaurant. It also has one pool, an internet station, and a library. Alongside this, L'Austral has a panoramic lounge and a theatre.[6] It also has a beauty center, with fitness equipment and a spa, and a Wii games area.[7]


L'Austral has 6 passenger decks:[8]

Deck Zanzibar - Open air deck, features the open air bar.

Deck Mahé - This deck features the owner’s suite, three Deluxe Suites, twenty Prestige Staterooms, the Grill Restaurant, the pool, internet lounge, the panoramic lounge & panoramic terrace and the library.

Deck Bengale - This deck includes thirty-seven Prestige Staterooms, the fitness & beauty center, ship's hairdresser, the leisure area, and the photoshop. This deck is also the deck the bridge is situated on.

Deck Chandernagor - This deck features thirty-five Prestige Staterooms and the ship's theatre.

Deck Calicut - This deck includes twenty eight Deluxe Staterooms, eight Superior Staterooms, the shop and reception desk, the main lounge, the excursion desk and the ship's medical center.

Deck Pondichery - This deck has the Gastronomic Restaurant and the ship's marina.


  1. "Le Boréal 2010 / L'Austral 2011" (PDF). La Compagnie du Ponant. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  2. "08/04/2010". Fincantieri. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  3. "French cruise ship company and captain fined by New Zealand after Snares Islands grounding". 2018-10-02. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  4. "Final Report: MO-2017-201 - Passenger vessel L'Austral contact with rock Snares Islands, 9 January 2017". taic.org.nz. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  5. "MO-2017-202: Passenger vessel L'Austral, grounding, Milford Sound, Fiordland, 9 February 2017". taic.org.nz. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  6. "Decks and staterooms / L'Austral / Ships". Compagnie du Ponant. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  7. "Life on Board / L'Austral". Companie du Ponant’s. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  8. "Decks and Statrooms / L'Austral". Compagnie du Ponant. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
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