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L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

Houston, Texas
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249 posts
650 reviews
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L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

We are considering this cruise for Antarctica and South Georgia is a must. Looks like the itineraries with South George is only the L'Austral but I know others on here have travelled with Le Boreal for itineraries with South Georgia. I'm guessing the boat will be similar?

Have a few questions and was hoping those who have been can answer:

Are most passengers english speaking? Are announcements on the ship made in english?

Are all of them A&K tours? I'm guessing there is no advantage of booking through A&K if you don't want a pre trip hotel package. Is it best just to book through Pondant?

Thanks!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
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1. Re: L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

I have just been reading a fresh blog on a TA members trip on the Le Boreal this year: …blogspot.com.au/2012/03/saturday-february-1…

Have a read and it might help with some of your questions.

As for bookings - my personal preference is to book direct with the company that owns or leases the ship itself - rather than 3rd party booking companies.

Re Sth Georgia - Plenty of other companies/ships include it in their itineraries - certainly not just the Le Boreal. I know the company I have travelled with twice (Peregrine/Quark) has it on many of their itineraries each season.

Passengers on any ship with any company will be from all walks of life from all over the world. With my trips - if there were large groups of specific nationalities they announcements were done in additional languages. It really doesnt matter where everyone else is from - at the end of the day you are all there to see the same thing and share the same passion.

Cape Town, South...
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2. Re: L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

During our Le Boreal cruise in Dec 2011, we came across another ship (which is unusual in Antarctica) and it was our sister ship, L'Austral. Both ships looked identical from the outside and the Captains positioned them alongside each other for photographic opportunities by the photographic crew on zodiacs in the bay. I would say both ships are probably very similar inside as well.

Our whole cruise was conducted in English. All announcements, newsletters, lecturers, briefings, etc were done only in English. If you purchased something on board from the gift shop or had laundry done, the price was in Euros, but payable by credit card or in US$ at the end of the trip.

Most passengers were English speaking, or could understand English. We had a German group with their own guide, but I would say 95% of those on board spoke, or understood, English.

University Park...
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3. Re: L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

My husband and I were on L'Austral for the January, 2012 cruise to South Georgia, Falklands and Antarctica. It was the first time with En Ponant and we booked directly with them. It was easy and there were no problems. We bboked our own Air fare as we wanted to go into Ushuaia the night before and stayed one extra night. Several of the people we met booked with Tauk and the only difference was that they had a cocktail hour every day just for them.

As far as the Ship itself, it was brand new (April, 2011) and it was beautifully appointed. The rooms were nice and comfortable, even the bathrooms were nice. The food was above average and the Chef's night cuisine was fantastic. We liked it that the wine was included in the price for lunch and dinner, so you didn't have to buy any special "packages" or sign up for extra shore excursions. Everything was all inclusive.

There were about 40% English-speaking people, 40% French and 20% German. Remember this IS a French ship. All announcements were made in French first, then followed by English. We always laughed that the English version took about 1/3 of the time to explain. Who knew we were so succinct!

The expedtion crew were largely French, but had enough English that we were able to get a pretty good explanation of everything. We had about 2 shore excursions a day and they were all very unique. I thought we would be going into a port. How little did I know that they were all "wet" landings and we were transported in a zodiac. But, it was fantastic. Beyond all expectations. The Ship photographer filmed everything and the CD was worth buying at the end, because she was great and the pics were phenemonal.

The cruise director, Jeremy, was French, but was hysterical and we always looked forward to his talks.

The only weak points were the entertainment and the internet. The entertainment was lip singing and dancing to recorded music, very amateur.

The internet was basically non-existent and very expensive. We bought a package for that And it didn't work half of the time and the timer didn't work, but we had to pay for it anyway.

But, overall, this was a fabulous ship and after researching many other cruise lines, this was the BEST. We would do it again in a second!!

I could go on and on, but I think you got the point.

4. Re: L'Austral / Le Boreal for Antarctica

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