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L'Austral Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
107 reviews
8 Awards

Awe-inspiring Antarctica on l'Austral

Review for L'Austral to Antarctica
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Dutch Diver
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
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Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2013
Cabin:

A cruise to Antarctica is pricey, expensive even, but it is absolutely worth it! We saw amazing wildlife and beautiful scenery. It felt as if we were in a nature documentary for two weeks.

Having previously cruised on 2500+ passenger cruise ships, the atmosphere and the level of service on this 200 passenger mega-yacht was very different. No lines, for instance. Also, crew was very approachable. The captain welcomed everyone in person and he was present at several dinners. The naturalists/guides were always available to answer questions.

Even though French is the primary language on board, all announcements and briefings were in English as well. There was never a language barrier, nor were non-French speakers treated differently.

Cabin Review

Our stateroom was very nice and comfortable (about the size of a Carnival balcony stateroom). Two beds that convert to a king size bed, a desk with four drawers, a minibar, a clothes closet with hanging space and shelves, also with a personal safe, hairdryer and bathrobes. For your listening pleasure, there's an iPhone/iPod dock (with remote) that doubles a alarm clock. There are a two outlets at the desk, one 110V, one 230V. They voltages are labeled, but you'll see the difference as well by the shape of the sockets. Bring a power strip if you have more than 2 devices (who doesn't, these days?).

On the wall above the desk was a (white) 32" flat screen TV. We used the TV mostly used for viewing the cruise info/map channel that also showed the daily schedule. Sometimes we'd watch the ship's front camera, but the picture was not sharp and a bit over-saturated. There was no satellite TV signal, as we'd be out of range most of the time. There's a (tricky to navigate) entertainment system to view about two dozen movies in several languages.

You get two complementary large bottles of mineral water and housekeeping restocks them when needed. Housekeeping staff was excellent. Always friendly, always able to help with requests. Turndown service included two biscuits (varying nightly). Tip: bring a Ziploc bag to store these biscuits overnight and you have mid-afternoon treat.

The bathroom is split into two areas with separate doors. One has a toilet and the other has a shower and sink. The sink/shower area has a window which lets the daylight in, with a sliding door if you need some privacy. The shower had decent pressure and a big hand-held hose.

The balcony about the size of a Carnival balcony, maybe a little bigger. It has two wicker chairs and a small table. Balconies on deck 3 have a solid railing, slightly different from the decks above where the upper part is open. The result is that on deck 3 balconies you can't see much if you're sitting down.

Port Reviews

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

We had a half day tour through Tierra del Fuego national park. A beautiful and rugged landscape. We made several half hour stops to visit Ensanada Bay, Lapataia Bay and of course 'the end of the road'. We wished we could have spend more time in the town itself, it was a friendly little town with lots to do in main street.

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