L'Austral Review

4.5 / 5.0
112 reviews

Interesting itinerary

Review for the Baltic Sea Cruise on L'Austral
Texas travellers
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: May 2023

We chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary. We actually did a back to back, staying onboard for the next cruise around Svalbard in the Arctic. Friendly, helpful staff and a beautiful ship, but there were issues. Our bed was two cots with a mattress topper that was different heights. Not the normal bed for a 5th floor room. We could not put our luggage underneath. We always are able to do that to have more room in our cabin. Food at the buffets was normally room temperature or cold. The ship needed maintenance. Our balcony door had a sharp rivet or broken screw on it. We finally put bandages on it to keep from getting cut each time we opened it. As usual with Ponant, our itinerary changed on an almost daily basis. Some was due to weather, but we were told one of the radars was not working, which did change some stops.

This was our 4th and 5th sailings on Ponant. We enjoy the unique itineraries and the small ships, but their excursions are not as good as the bigger ships. Still have 40-50 people on the usual bus tour.

Ponant changed our included flight from Longyearbyen to Paris to late afternoon, but most of the guests were assigned to depart on the earlier flight. Since we were on a back to back, we felt we should have been allowed to go first as we had already seen the small town on Longyearbyen. No options were given. Also, AFTER we left home, we were told of a restricted baggage allowance on the flight. Luckily, it was not enforced as we had heavy carry ons due to bringing binoculars and cameras.

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