- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
- A la carte Options
Staterooms & Suites
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
Hong kongEmabarkation 11/06/2017 from 14H00 to 16H00 . Departure 11/06/2017 at 18H00 .
Hong Kong, known as the “Fragrant harbour”, bordered by the South China Sea, is a heady place attracting tourists from the world over. This former British colony today combines ultramodern shopping malls and authentic markets like the Ladie’s Market or the night market on Temple Street. At first sight, you’ll be overwhelmed by the city’s architecture which, because of lack of ground space, reaches skywards, with its 1,250 skyscrapers and other towers. Believing is seeing, so if you go up to Victoria Peak, the highest point on the island, you’ll see a dizzying and unforgettable view of the bay.
12 June 2017 - At seaArrival 12/06/2017 at 00H00 . Departure 12/06/2017 at 00H00 .
13 June 2017 - HaiphongArrival 13/06/2017 at 07H00 . Departure 13/06/2017 at 00H00 .
On the banks of the Red River Delta, Haiphong is one of Vietnam's three major ports. Contemporary and outward-looking, the city also has a rich past. One stunning example of its old colonial town is the Du Hang pagoda, the gateway to Hanoi, the county's capital and a symbol of its anti-colonial struggle. Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam's independence here in 1945, where his body rests in the middle of the Ba Dinh square in his mausoleum. A few hundred metres away is the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the Presidential Palace and the delicate One Pillar Pagoda. Further south, kick back in the peace and quiet of the Confucian Temple of Literature.
14 June 2017 - Halong BayArrival 14/06/2017 at 06H00 . Departure 14/06/2017 at 16H00 .
Located 170 kilometres east of Hanoi, in the gulf of Tonkin, Halong bay is a marvel of marvels. A must for all who wish to soak up the spirit of Vietnam, at once peaceful and mysterious. You’ll sail into the heart of this legendary natural beauty, not surprisingly listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Over approximately 1,500 square kilometres, the famous bay offers an infinite quasi supernatural and ghostly spectacle of limestone pillars rising from the sea in all shapes and sizes, sculpted by nature for centuries. This exceptional scenic beauty of this site includes myriad creeks, caves and other interior lakes to feast your eyes on.
15 June 2017 - Da NangArrival 15/06/2017 at 14H30 . Departure 15/06/2017 at 00H00 .
Mid-way between Ho Chi Minh City to the south and Hanoi to the north, Da Nang enjoys an ideal location in Vietnam. The old colonial town has skilfully navigated the transition to economic growth, becoming a wealthy tourist destination. With its five Marble Mountains, its 72-metre high Buddha and white sand beach, Da Nang will create some magical memories, made sublime by a secular culinary tradition that has nothing left to prove. It is also the gateway to the country’s treasures, including the cities of Hoi-An and Hue, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
16 June 2017 - Chan MayArrival 16/06/2017 at 06H00 . Departure 16/06/2017 at 18H00 .
To the south-east of Thua Thuen-Hue province, Chan May harbour was developed around its industrial activity, but has since opened up to cruise tourism. This harbour enjoys an exceptional location on the Vietnamese coast, not far from Chan May, the doorway into the imperial city of Hue, the ancient capital of the country and listed by UNESCO as World Heritage site. Its royal citadel dating from the 19th century, inspired by the Forbidden city of Beijing, is a gem of architecture and history.
17 June 2017 - At seaArrival 17/06/2017 at 00H00 . Departure 17/06/2017 at 00H00 .
18 June 2017 - Ho Chi Minh CityArrival 18/06/2017 at 14H00 . Departure 18/06/2017 at 00H00 .
19 June 2017 - Ho Chi Minh CityArrival 19/06/2017 at 00H00 . Departure 19/06/2017 at 12H00 .
Located near the Mekong delta, Ho Chi Minh-Ville is the largest city in Vietnam. It is both the historic heart and economic hub. Formerly Saigon, the city is an imposing avant-guard metropolis. You can admire its famous central post office and its emblematic Reunification Palace. From 95 years of French presence, the city has kept some remarkable monuments, like the Cathédrale Notre-Dame with its neo-Gothic façade built in 19th century red brick. You’ll succumb to the magic of this hectic city, where everything is about contrast, like the very brightly-coloured district of Cholon, Saigon’s “Chinatown”.
20 June 2017 - At seaArrival 20/06/2017 at 00H00 . Departure 20/06/2017 at 00H00 .
21 June 2017 - Bandar Seri BegawanArrival 21/06/2017 at 14H00 . Departure 21/06/2017 at 20H00 .
Kota Kinabalu (Sabah Borneo)Disembarkation 22/06/2017 at 07H00 .
Located on the north-east coast of the Malaysian State of Sabah on the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is an excellent jumping-off point for exploring the natural attractions of the region. It is close to Mt Kinabalu, but before you head off to climb the holy mountain check out the heart of the old city, nicknamed KK by locals. Although there isnﾒt much left of its colonial heritage, ﾠits multi-cultural restaurants, shops and friendly atmosphere is immensely appealing. Donﾒt miss a stroll along the KKﾒs busiest promenade, the colourful Waterfront.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Vietnam: entry and exit visa issued and charged onboard (65€ to date, subject to change), this visa will allow you to exit Vietnam up to 30 days after disembarkation.
A visa is not necessary for Hong Kong. However, should you plan on staying in China before or after your cruise, you will need to obtain an individual visa for China.
Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
Bloomberg Questions for PONANT
How did the Ponant cruise to Borneo come together?
The island of Borneo provides endless opportunities for exploration, from the ancient Dayak cultures and rajahs of Sarawak, through the opulence of Brunei, to the rainforests and picture postcard islands of Sabah. However, its sheer size and mountainous terrain can make it a difficult island to travel across. Quality hotels can be hard to find, flight connections are rarely convenient, cancellations are common and the alternate of local bus travel over endless corrugated and potholed roads is a daunting prospect. L’Austral is the ideal platform for exploring this part of the world. It allows guests to experience the many facets of the island before returning to an attentive crew delivering refined luxury with French flair and sophistication. Guests need only unpack once and they are delivered to new and exotic destinations each day. Partnering luxury and adventure in remote seldom visited destinations is the essence of a Ponant luxury Expedition voyage.
What is the experience like?
The diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures mean that no two destinations are the same. Every destination has its own unique charm and intrigue. Guests have the opportunity to experience one of the world’s oldest rainforests, home to the famed Orang-Utan and the ‘Jimmy Durante’ of the primate world – the unique looking proboscis monkey. They can marvel at the opulence and unique architecture of Bandar Seri Begawan in the Sovereign State of Brunei. Or they can journey through the lowland rainforests and mangroves of the Kinabatangan river in Sabah. Described as Malaysia’s gift to the earth, it is one of only two places in the world where nine species of primate can be seen. There’s also seven species of Hornbill, countless other bird species and the world’s rarest elephant, the Bornean Pygmy elephant.
What has it been like to work in that region?
I find working in the region very rewarding. The locals are a very proud people, willing to showcase their culture and beautiful landscapes. Most people visit the island to explore the jungles and see the exotic wildlife. However, it is the genuine friendliness of the people that they remember the most.
Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia are countries that want to expand their cruise markets. This provides a good basis to further develop the region and we continually seek new destinations and experiences for our guests. The island abounds in unique experiences awaiting discovery by even the most seasoned Traveller. The variety and style of destinations are able to cater to all facets of the cruise industry, from the large mass market ships, to small luxury vessels like L’Austral.
Can you elaborate on why itineraries don't normally go there and what spurred Ponant's interest?
Borneo conjures images of a faraway primeval land, a land of head hunters and Orang-Utans beckoning exploration. As the global leader in luxury small ship expeditions we are continually seeking new destinations and itineraries. Our fleet of small luxury ships visit over 400 destinations in more than 80 countries and with four new vessels on the way, we are always searching for new exotic destinations to showcase to our guests. Borneo’s location at the heart of the Malay Archipelago, its incredible diversity and breathtaking beauty make it an ideal destination for exploration by small luxury ships, like L’Austral.
Are there any challenges when sailing to Borneo?
Borneo is an ideal destination for exploration by luxury small ship. The island is blessed with good air access to major international hubs. From Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali or Kota Kinabalu a small luxury ship can explore the many coastal destinations the island has to offer. Guests need only unpack once to experience the rainforests, rajahs and riches scattered across the island. With such a multitude of destinations on offer, each day is a new adventure.
Any personal favorite excursions?
Without doubt my favourite shore excursion would have to be the overnight experience on the Kinabatangan river in the Malaysian state of Sabah. From Sandakan guests travel up the lower reaches of the river to experience the biodiversity contained within the region. The Kinabatangan River meanders 560km from the Crocker Range to the Sulu Sea and sustains one of the world's richest ecosystems. It has been described as Malaysia’s gift to the Earth and the original lowland forests and mangrove swamps near the coast contain some of Borneo's highest concentrations of wildlife. It is considered the best area for viewing wildlife, not just in Sabah but all of Malaysia.
Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.
A la carte Options
During your cruise
Before your cruise
Flights From/To Paris (Economic Class) + Hong Kong Bay 1N (Pre) + Cosmopolite and Colorfull Singapore 1N (Post)
Flights From/To Paris (Economic Class) + Hong Kong, Stay and Discovery 2N (Pre) + Cosmopolite and Colorfull Singapore 1N (Post)
After you cruise