In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.


This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.


This voyage in the heart of the Mediterranean explores four islands that, despite their differences, share a history of successive waves of civilizations that have washed over them from prehistoric times to the present. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Italians, British, and Spanish—all have left their mark on the language, art, architecture, and cuisine of Sicily, Sardinia, Menorca, and Mallorca.


From Valletta, Malta, your discovery of these very special islands begins with two days on the largest of them, as you visit the Sicilian cities of Trapani and Palermo. Rounding Sicily's western tip, you arrive in Trapani for an excursion into the countryside and the ancient Doric temple of Segesta or to medieval Erice, perched on a high triangular plateau sloping down to the sea.


L’Austral then brings you to Palermo, founded by the Phoenicians in 827 BC and becoming one of Europe’s greatest cities in the 12th century, when the Normans took control. Here you will visit Cappella Palatina, a Byzantine-Arab-Norman structure featuring dazzling mosaics and magnificent inlaid marble floors and walls. Or drive to nearby Monreale to explore its famed Norman cathedral.


Cagliari, Sardinia's capital, is your gateway to the archaeological site of Nora. Founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, it was subsequently taken over by Carthaginians, then by Romans. Explore the  remains of Carthaginian warehouses, buildings from the time of the Roman Republic, a Carthaginian-Roman temple, large baths with splendid mosaics, and a theater, almost intact, dating to the time of the Roman Empire.


On Menorca, second largest of the Balearic Islands, visit Mahon, the island's main port, where a tour of the town reveals Menorca's varied history through its architecture—classical Georgian sash-windowed town houses sharing pride of place with traditional Spanish homes. Visit the Museum of Menorca, and then drive to Torralba d’en Salord, a large and well-preserved Bronze Age talayotic settlement recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


In Palma de Mallorca on the island of Mallorca, explore the Gothic-style Bellver Castle, one of only a handful of circular castles in Europe, or board a vintage train through the orange and olive groves, almond and locust-bean trees, lush villages, and pine-covered mountains that define the island's landscape.


Your voyage ends in vibrant Tarragona, Spain, just down the coast from vibrant Barcelona.

 

The whole of the Maltese capital Valletta is UNESCO World Heritage listed and occupies a peninsula in the north-east of the island. From the fountain of Tritons to Saint-Elme fort, there are as many majestic streets as there are narrow staircase vennels to explore. The painted loggia and carved corbels on the tall houses will accompany you in your explorations, and you’ll rarely be bothered by traffic. You can visit the Grandmasters palace decorated with coats of arms and frescoes. Saint-John’s cathedral and the ramparts which have guarded the city since the 16th century are also among the most emblematic sites of the city. Arranged in terraces, the Barrakka Gardens will punctuate your promenade with a green and floral experience.

 

Bathed in the cobalt waters of the Tyrrhenian sea, Trapani is the former port of the Greek city of Erice, boasting a privileged natural position in western Sicily. As you wander through its little streets, you will discover a secular cultural heritage, bearing witness to the many influences of civilisations that came here: San Lorenzo Cathedral, Maria Santissima Annunziata sanctuary, the fountain of Triton. On the shaded restaurant terraces, savour some fresh fish from the morning’s catch. Or else you can opt for a seafood couscous, a culinary legacy from their Arab neighbours.

 

Palermo is the guardian of the Sicilian soul. Many have been attracted to this city, the largest capital of the Italian islands. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans... Palermo is a rich culmination of so many cultural influences as seen in the Moorish designs on the cathedral, and the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine chapel, which is itself housed within the precincts of the Norman palace. You will fall under the spell of the palaces, baroque splendours that grace the town with their obsolete beauty. It is thrilling to stumble upon one of those fabulous markets, high in colour, and headily picturesque.

 

The capital of Sardinia, Cagliari, like Rome, is built on seven hills. Its Sardinian name means “castle”, in reference to the citadel, its historic centre, which dominates the city. The old ramparts are now pleasant panoramic terraces bordering picturesque streets. The city hosted the Nuragic, Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine civilisations before the rein of the Spanish Hapsburgs and the House of Savoy. The monuments of Cagliari bear the traces of these successive dominations, such as the Bastion of Saint-Rémy or the Sainte-Marie Cathedral. On the sea front, Art Nouveau-style public monuments give way to the Poetto beach, a magnificent stretch of sand that is 8 kilometres long.

 

During your journey 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 journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or 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 observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

 

You will be welcomed by the colourful houses of Mahon, its narrow streets and pretty squares that appear as you stroll around this richly contrasting city. Mahon reveals its different neighbourhoods, alternating between monuments, villas and white buildings. Discover the Santa Maria church, a building of neo-gothic inspiration, rebuilt in the 18th Century. It is worth a visit to see its monumental organ with more than 3,000 pipes and four keyboards. Around the Carmen church you will find a local market, full of stands selling avarcas, typical Menorcan sandals originally made by peasants. Let yourself fall under the spell of this Mediterranean treasure.

 

Palma de Mallorca will reveal its many treasures: idyllic coves, majestic limestone cliffs that plunge into the clear sapphire- and turquoise-coloured waters of the Mediterranean, and vast plains planted with almond trees, olive trees and vineyards. When your ship calls at the capital of the Balearic Islands, take a walk to discover its emblematic monuments, such as its famous cathedral, and amble through its old streets. Here, like a painting, the island’s historical heritage forms a backdrop to the lively and warm cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Mediterranean.  

 

Tarragona is situated on the Costa Dorada, in the south of Spain’s Catalonia region. Known as Tarraco in Roman times, the city boasts very important archaeological and architectural vestiges that are magnificently well preserved. These earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000. Do not miss this opportunity to visit the Roman amphitheatre, which is located on a beautiful natural site by the sea and is exceptionally well preserved. A stroll through the streets of the old medieval town to the cathedral, which was completed in the 14th century, is a wonderful way to end your visit to this welcoming city.

Itineraries are subject to change.

Superior Stateroom

$9,020 AUD pp
Superior Stateroom
Area : 21 m² Capacity :up to 3 passengers per cabin Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet access wifi.

Deluxe Stateroom

$9,770 AUD pp
Deluxe Stateroom
Area : 18 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.

Prestige Stateroom Deck 4

$10,300 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
PRESTIGE DECK 4 Area : 18 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.

Prestige Stateroom Deck 5

$10,620 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area : 18 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.

Prestige Stateroom Deck 6

$11,050 AUD pp
Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area : 18 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi

Deluxe Suite

$14,990 AUD pp
Deluxe Suite
Area : 27 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Private balcony. Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi Butler service

Prestige Suite Deck 5

$16,160 AUD pp
Prestige Suite Deck 5
Area : 36 m² Capacity :up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi.

Prestige Suite Deck 6

$16,680 AUD pp
Prestige Suite Deck 6
Area : 36 m² Capacity :up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony Individually-controlled air-conditioning king-size bed or twin beds Shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet access wifi Butler service.

Owner's Suite

$17,530 AUD pp
Owner's Suite
Area : 45 m² Capacity :up to 2 passengers per cabin Situated on Deck 6 Decorated by French designers Breathtakting panoramic sea view Individually-controlled air-conditioning King-size bed or twin beds Bathtub and shower Minibar Flat screen Satellite TV Desk with stationery Ipod™ players Video on demand Safe Hairdryer Bath robes Satellite direct line telephone 110/220 volts outlet French bath products 24hr room service Internet acces wifi 1 private transfer (round trip): Airport - Hotel - Port 1 free hour of Spa treatments Butler service

Additional charges:

Port Taxes: $520 AUD

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship

Length: 142 metres

Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica)

Built: 2011

This superb mega-yacht with 132 cabins is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral has 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. Precious materials in smoothing neutral tones are brought to life with splashes of cheerful reds. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht”.

Cuisine

Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.

Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfasts, lunch and dinner. The Gastronomic Restaurant, with a capacity of 268 persons, is situated on Le Liberté Deck and serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. On the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportuniny to eat outside and enjoy buffet lunch and themed dinner.

Life On Board

Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or games area (Wii™ consoles, etc), or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L'Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.

Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, a spa in partnership with Sothys™, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Comfortable cabins, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.

Fitted with the latest equipment (Kinesis Wall, running machine) and in partnership with the famous

Sothys™ brand, the Beauty Centre on L'Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering (beauty treatments, hairdresser).

Cabin layout for L'Austral

Special Offers

Up to 30% OFF! Prices online do not show the discounted rates. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.

Inclusions


• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non-alcoholic and Alcoholic beverages included (Excluding Premium Brands)
• Free wifi (Subject to coverage)
• Expedition cruises include excursions and zodiac cruises
• Some shore excursions are included, depending on the voyage destination
• Shore excursion in each port of call + transfers included

Exclusions


• Flights other than those mentioned in the itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Premium beverages package (Can be purchased on board)
• Optional Excursions where applicable
• Spa treatments on board
• Pre and post cruise accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Transfers unless specified
• Gratuities
L'Austral
Italy and France Luxury ExpeditionLuxury Expedition
8 Days from
$1,128 AUD per day

Highlights

• A voyage specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers including discussions with experts, transfers before and after your cruise, and an included excursion in each port of call.

• Engaging discussions onboard with two Smithsonian Journeys Experts.

• Well-preserved Greek and Roman ruins in Segesta and on Sardinia.

• Norman cathedral churches in Erice and Monreale.

• Stunning Byzantine-Arab mosaics in the Cappella Palatina in Palermo.

• A discovery of the Balearic Islands with stops in Mahón, Menorca, and in Palma de Mallorca, their capital.

• UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Palermo, Cefalú, Monreale, Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca, and Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana.

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

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