The best of New Zealand
* Subject to availability.
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms 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
Sailing Milford SoundEmbarkation 09/02/2017 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 09/02/2017 at 18H00 .
Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.
10 February 2017 – Dusky SoundArrival 10/02/2017 . Departure 10/02/2017 .
Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your visit, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.
11 February 2017 – DunedinArrival 11/02/2017 at 09H00 . Departure 11/02/2017 at 19H00 .
Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.
12 February 2017 – AkaroaArrival 12/02/2017 at 08H00 . Departure 12/02/2017 at 15H30 .
Set on the east coast of South Island, Christchurch is New Zealandﾒs second-biggest city. You can soak up its easy-going atmosphere in one of the many parks and gardens that give Christchurch its nickname ﾓthe garden cityﾔ, or dally a while in Cathedral Square to see how the city is transforming itself after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Attractions such as the International Antarctic Centre and Christchurch Gondola ride are as popular as ever, while pop-up cafes, the Cardboard Cathedral and community art projects showcase the citizensﾒ resilience. The beautiful port of Akaroa, where ships dock, is about 90 minutesﾒ drive from Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula
13 February 2017 – PictonArrival 13/02/2017 at 07H30 . Departure 13/02/2017 at 19H00 .
A must-see entry point to South Island, Picton is a little coastal town girded by gentle hills, located on the south side of the Queen Charlotte inlet. The cafés and restaurants which border the charming waterfront give a very lovely view of the fjord. You can also decide to get some height above sea level, and walk in the surrounding areas. However, Picton is above all an opportunity to explore the unique Marlborough fjords. This interweave of submerged valleys, making numerous different navigable routes, are among the most beautiful natural wonders of New Zealand.
14 February 2017 – WellingtonArrival 14/02/2017 at 08H00 . Departure 14/02/2017 at 19H00 .
Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington harbour is located in the far south of North Island. This city offers a charming pell-mell of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, at once friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.
15 February 2017 – NapierArrival 15/02/2017 at 12H00 . Departure 15/02/2017 at 19H00 .
On the east coast of North Island, south of Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find Napier. Mostly destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, reviving from its ashes in less than two years, it grew into a magnificent Art Deco style city, very in-vogue at the time. With its pure lines mixed with traditional Maori designs, the singular New Zealand character of this city will intrigue you. You’ll discover all this extraordinary architectural heritage as you take a stroll the city. Wine lovers will be able to taste some of the best wines from the region, which is famous for its vineyards.
16 February 2017 – At seaArrival 16/02/2017 . Departure 16/02/2017 .
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
17 February 2017 – TaurangaArrival 17/02/2017 at 07H30 . Departure 17/02/2017 at 18H00 .
Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana. This coastal city boasts a flourishing economy thanks to its port, and is a pleasant and pretty town with a peaceful, relaxed feel. The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights. Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.
AucklandDisembarkation 18/02/2017 at 07H00 .
Auckland is New Zealandﾒs largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of ﾠthe few cities in the world to have two separate harbours ﾖ Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Youﾒll understand why Auckland is known as ﾓthe city of sailsﾔ when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
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.
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.
Pre/Post & Overlands
After your cruise
Before your cruise