French luxury cruise and expedition line Ponant is making its first foray into the Australian market this year, with the first cruise set to depart 11 December, 2014. The company is sending one of its ships, L’Austral, downunder, offering seven itineraries featuring Australia and New Zealand between December and February 2015.
Sarina Bratton, a superstar of the Australian cruise industry has been appointed as the special Advisor to Ponant and the Owner’s Representative in the Asia Pacific. Sarina knows everything there is to know about Australian cruising, and says that Australia has never seen ships like Ponant’s.
“The majority of the world’s small expedition ships are old, having been built in the late 80’s and 90’s. But Ponant has a fleet of four, brand-new, ‘state of the art’ ships and a touch of that unique French avant-garde style. Each ship carries only 240 guests, and has the most advanced technical and environmental systems on any cruise line in the world. Each ship is like a private luxury yacht flying the French flag and specifically designed to navigate in extreme conditions. It gives us a unique advantage,” Sarina enthused.
Ponant – is a three-masted 88 metre yacht launched in 1991, and carries a maximum of 64 passengers.
Austral, the ship coming to Australia, was launched in 2011 and has 132 ocean view staterooms and suites.
Boréal – was launched in 2010 and carries from 224 to 264 passengers in up to 132 staterooms and suites.
Soleal – – joined the fleet in July 2013 and has 132 staterooms and suites catering for between 224 and 264 passengers.
Lyrial is the newest ship in the fleet, to be launched in April 2015.
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