From Dublin to Tromso: the Hebrides and Lofoten
* Subject to availability.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
- Possibility of hikes.
- Discovery of four archipelagos on the same cruise: the Hebrides, Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, Lofoten Islands.
- Very rich wildlife: multiple species of birds (puffins, sea eagles, terns, northern gannets, red-billed choughs, corn crakes), whales, dolphins, seals, otters.
- Diversity of landscapes: heathland undulating as far as the eye can see, flowers, immense beaches, small lakes, forests of hundred-year-old oak trees, huge cliffs, basalt grottos, Norwegian fjords.
- Sailing in Geirangerfjord and Trollfjorden.
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites: St Kilda islands in the Outer Hebrides, Geirangerfjord, Dublin.
- Staterooms & Suites
- Port of call & excursions
- Important information
- Pre/Post & Overlands
Staterooms & Suites
There are no staterooms available for booking. Please contact our cruise advisors.
In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create 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. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.
Port of call & excursions
DublinEmbarkation 13/05/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 13/05/2019 at 18H00 .
The Irish capital stretches along the banks of the Liffey to Dublin bay, on the East coast of Ireland. Discover Ireland’s warm conviviality in the pedestrian district of Temple Bar. Its cobbled streets are brimming with fabulous shops, pubs and arts centres. Next to Trinity College, famous for its 18th century library, you can stroll along Grafton Street: in one of its famous tea shops, try a delicious scone and clotted cream served hot and melt-in-the-mouth with jam. Not far from here, the majestic O’Connell bridge leads you to the avenue with the same name, on which Spire, a luminous contemporary sculpture presides.
14 May 2019 – PortrushArrival 14/05/2019. Departure 14/05/2019.
Established on the site of an old fishing village in the far north of the island, Portrush is a seaside resort that has been very fashionable since Victorian times. It was built along a peninsular edged by two magnificent golden sandy beaches that have been developed for walking and cycling. Further east lies Whiterocks, one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful beaches. The romantic ruins of Dunluce Castle are perched on the edge of the white limestone cliffs overlooking the beach. Do not miss the Giant's Causeway geological site a few kilometres further on. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers the surprising sight of a series of hexagonal basalt columns beaten by the waves.
14 May 2019 – Isle of Islay, HebridesArrival 14/05/2019. Departure 14/05/2019.
Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, the archipelago’s southernmost island offers a pleasant foretaste of the emblematic colours and flavours of the Scottish islands: heathlands as far as the eye can see, picturesque villages with white façades surrounded by colour, wild coves and large sandy bays with turquoise waters, famous whisky distilleries… A large part of the island has been designated a nature reserve managed by the National Trust for Scotland to protect the many sea birds, birds of prey and seals that have made their home there. You will undoubtedly appreciate the hospitality of the inhabitants of Islay: renowned for their warm welcome; they never miss an opportunity to wave a greeting at visitors and walkers.
15 May 2019 – Iona, HebridesArrival 15/05/2019. Departure 15/05/2019.
Of all the islands in the Inner Hebrides, Iona is by far the most conducive to contemplation and meditation. And for good reason... it is here that St Columba landed from Ireland in 563 and undertook to establish Christianity in Scotland. Now an abbey, the islandﾒs true spiritual centre stands where the ancient monastery founded by the Irish missionary was built. Many kings of Scotland, including the legendary Macbeth, are buried in the nearby cemetery. In sunny weather, arriving on the Isle of Iona is a stunningly beautiful experience.
15 May 2019 – Isle of Staffa, ScotlandArrival 15/05/2019. Departure 15/05/2019.
Owned by the National Trust for Scotland since 1986, Staffa Island is famous for the basalt columns that emerged 60 million years ago as a natural consequence of the lava flows fracturing into hexagonal blocks as they cooled down. The uninhabited island is home to a large colony of puffins. As majestic as any cathedral, Fingalﾒs Cave is an unforgettable experience and youﾒll doubtless be as impressed as Mendelssohn was. If youﾒve got a musical ear, you may just get inspired too...
16 May 2019 – Saint Kilda Island, HebridesArrival 16/05/2019. Departure 16/05/2019.
St Kilda is a truly superlative archipelago. Europe’s most inaccessible UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archipelago emerges from the waves at the far west of the Outer Hebrides. Its vertiginous sea cliffs tower over 300 metres tall, the highest in the United Kingdom, and serve as a refuge for the largest bird sanctuary in the North Atlantic. This site is as fascinating for the colonies of northern gannets, petrels and Atlantic puffins as it is for the incredible story of the “bird fishers” who survived on this rocky outcrop, barely 9 km², for millennia until they themselves asked to be evacuated in 1930. The touching ruins of their dwellings are still visible near the shore.
17 May 2019 – John O'Groats, ScotlandArrival 17/05/2019. Departure 17/05/2019.
Located in the far north-east of Great Britain, the Scottish village of John O’Groats will enable you to discover preserved wild nature offering spectacular scenery carved out by erosion. Named in honour of Jan de Groot, the Dutchman who was behind the first ferry between mainland Scotland and Orkney, the site has breathtaking views over the impressive cliffs of this small sub-arctic archipelago, lying only a few kilometres away. The village of John O’Groats is also one of the maritime gateways to the Highlands region, famous for its stunning mountain landscapes, rugged coasts, mysterious lakes and many castles.
18 May 2019 – Kirkwall, ScotlandArrival 18/05/2019. Departure 18/05/2019.
Capital of the Orkney archipelago, Kirkwall, which means “church bay”, is an ideal stopover before continuing on to the Northern Isles. Sheltered in a wide bay, the lively town welcomes the visitor with its charming paved alleyways edged by old houses and craft shops. Tankerness House, the oldest homestead in the town, is a must-see landmark. But the true architectural treasure of the aptly named Kirkwall is none other than its remarkable red and gold stone cathedral. And because whisky is inseparable from Scotland’s identity, stop at the Highland Park Distillery for a highly instructive visit.
19 May 2019 – Shetland IslandsArrival 19/05/2019. Departure 19/05/2019.
At the far north of the United Kingdom, this string of a hundred or so islands stretches into the North Sea, between Scotland and Scandinavia. Under the dazzling light of an ever-changing sky emerge long white sandy beaches and imposing schist cliffs. Between splendid lochs, lush green valleys covered with heather and Viking ruins, you can encounter the emblematic ponies and sheep of the Shetland Islands. More than one million sea birds nest here each year between April and August, in this veritable sanctuary protected by the mildness of the sea currents. These include the northern gannet, the Atlantic puffin, the northern fulmar, the common murre, the razorbill, the black-legged kittiwake, the Arctic tern and the great skua.
20 May 2019 – GeirangerArrival 20/05/2019. Departure 20/05/2019.
A must-see stopover in Norway, located halfway between Bergen and Trondheim, Geiranger offers the stunning beauty of a natural decor, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The splendour of the sheer cliffs, dark rock and crystalline water are the stars of the show here. The sides of the fjord offer many possibilities for hiking: the Eagle’s Road takes you up to a steep stretch offering a gorgeous panoramic view. A visit to Geiranger village will immerse you in the rhythm of life in the little local community.
21 May 2019 – At seaArrival 21/05/2019. Departure 21/05/2019.
During your day 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 day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, 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.
22 May 2019 – Leknes, LofotenArrival 22/05/2019. Departure 22/05/2019.
Way beyond the Arctic Circle, Lofoten Islands are truly considered to be in “another world”. A jewel of nature in its most pristine state, this archipelago with its jagged coastline offers you majestic settings of high alpine summits, sandy beaches, green prairies and fjords of a deep blue, where countless bird colonies make their nests. Whether you visit Å, or Nusjford, listed by UNESCO, enjoy authentic and memorable moments.
23 May 2019 – Svolvaer, LofotenArrival 23/05/2019. Departure 23/05/2019.
Located on the island of Austvågøy, in the county of Nordland, Svolvær will be your ideal entry point for discovering the Lofoten islands. An important stopover to the north of Norway, fishing is one of the town’s main features. And its speciality is? Cod. A picturesque white Lutherian church rests atop a hillside ridge, overlooking the town's multi-coloured houses. Still higher, the “The Solvær Goat” mountain looks over the town from its rocky heights. Topped with two peaks like the horns of an animal, it is one of the region’s must-see natural attractions.
23 May 2019 – Sailing in TrollfjordenArrival 23/05/2019. Departure 23/05/2019.
According to legend, trolls were the guardians of this 2-km long fjord accessible via the Raftsund Strait, between the Vesterålen Archipelago and the Lofoten Islands. Dominated on both sides by vertical rock faces that stand up to 1,000 metres high in parts, Trollfjorden welcomes you in a magical atmosphere which its narrowness helps to create. During this unforgettable journey, you will indeed have the impression that you’re grazing the surrounding mountains and that you’ll never see the end of this marine cul-de-sac. After a delicate U-turn, your ship will finally head back in the opposite direction: this will perhaps be the opportunity to observe, for want of trolls, seals and eagles, which are often present in this site, unique on earth.
TromsoDisembarkation 24/05/2019 at 07H00 .
In the north of the Arctic circle you’ll discover Tromsø, a secluded town located in the county of Troms. Norwegians call it the “Paris of the north”. You’ll soon see why when you discover its extensive neoclassical architectural heritage. A stunning example is the Arctic cathedral, a major monument whose stylistic purity echoes the outline of the mountains surrounding the town.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.
A luxury expedition voyage
Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.
PONANT, polar specialists
With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.
Professional expedition teams, varied activities
After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…
Expedition programs include activities such as Zodiac® outings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac® outings will not allow for landings, just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, the position of ice, and wind and sea conditions. These can force a change of plans at any time.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience. The raw beauty and untouched wilderness offer a unique chance to experience a place where there is little evidence of human presence. Inevitably, there are some consequences that come with such remoteness: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid for with your personal funds. We urge you to take out a full coverage insurance. Choose your insurance company very carefully and be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive.
Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of expedition itineraries, the ports of call shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take the tourist value of the sites into account and above all, the safety of the passengers. Their decision will be subject to that of local authorities and/or the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in polar and/or isolated zones.
- Water-resistant parka offered on board (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Parka gift” appears
- Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to land in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. You can also bring water-resistant hiking boots. A boots rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the stamp “Boots offered” appears
- Comfortable pants: classic Winter pants, warm cotton tracksuit
- Water-resistant windbreaker over pants - COMPULSORY
- Winter pants with water-resistant over pants is the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort suitability of pants are essential
- Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
- Thermal sweater
- Fleece muffler and fleece cap or thermal beanie covering ears (avoid scarfs which do not stand still)
- Water-resistant and supple gloves
- Polarized sunglasses with high UV filter
- Walking sticks (highly recommended)
Feel free to visit the PONANT online shop which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com
Benefits of the PONANT shop:
- expert advice to gear up
- a selection of technical equipment and accessories approved by our naturalists
- Duty Free prices
- delivery directly on board
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy