We wanted a more luxurious cruise than a standard converted ice breaker could offer and we were not disappointed. We were also attracted to the follow on cruise offered by Ponant from Ushuaia to Cape Town via the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Tristan da Cunha archipelago. To say it in a few short words, just outstanding!
One factor on our cruise needs a special mention that has contributed a great deal to this outstanding success: our Capt Etienne Garcia. Being in charge of both Cruises he showed an enthusiastism and eagerness to inform us about wildlife sightings which was electrifying
to the entire ship and crew. The policy of an open bridge for all in times of simple cruising created an atmosphere of one happy group of lucky people being able and privileged to experience such a unique landscape first hand. Well done and a big thank you to all Crew and expedition members for an excellent job done in a professional and caring manner.
New and modern feel in a spacious cabin. Liked the separate toilet and spacious shower.
Adequate storage and drawer space. HD TV , wall mounted with limited access to live TV. WiFi service was disappointing and expensive, the supply of daily news in print form in various languages and country of origin for guests was a nice touch!
We enjoyed the offered trip to the resort overlooking Ushuaia and used their shuttle to go shopping in Ushuaia. Use the free WiFi at the resort or at the harbour customs building as the last reliable connection point.
Le Lyrial is one of 3 small luxurious cruise ships often used in the Arctic and Antarctic by Ponant. She can carry approx. 200 guests in very comfortable staterooms, all with outside windows or balconies. No indoor staterooms on this ship. The high ratio between guests and staff makes for an extremely comfortable eating and dining experience. There is one a la carte dining room on the second level and a buffet style eatery on the sixth level with outside seating available. All wine and beer is included for all guests even cocktails during the day. As most of Ponant's cruises have itineraries where you visit places "off the beaten track" shore excursions are handled by the ship via their Zodiac boats and are included in your fare. If you happen to sail on an "Expedition Cruise" you will be given a Parka for your use which you can keep at the end.
Entertainment was basic and consisted of a 5 person dance troupe and various pianists and singers. Being a french ship the crew, personnel and expedition leaders are mostly french but speak multiple languages. Our waiters came from the Philippines and Indonesia and all spoke perfect English and at least another language. All announcements are made in French and English and so are the shore excursions organized in language groups. TV has various channels in both languages available.
Because of the type of cruise, price and program you will meet with people of higher standards compared to other "run of the mill" cruises offered by other operators and we have made new friends for life.