The best of New Zealand
* Subject to availability.
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
NouméaEmbarkation 23/12/2017 from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure 23/12/2017 at 23H30 .
Perched on a peninsula between bays and hills, on the south-west coast of Grande Terre, Noumea enjoys a magnificent natural setting. The town shelters some exceptional biodiversity, thanks especially to the coastal mangroves. To feel the town’s heartbeat, you can mosey in the place des Cocotiers, where Noumeans love to gather. The Tjibaou cultural centre unveils the secrets of the kanak culture. As for the Hagen castle or the maison Célières, these are precious witnesses of a colonial past. But Noumea is also about sumptuous beaches.
24 December 2017 – Amedee IslandArrival 24/12/2017 early morning. Departure 24/12/2017 late afternoon.
Standing on a paradisiacal strip of land off the coast of Noumea, the56-metre high Amédée lighthouse looks over the entrance to the harbour of the New Caledonian capital. This historical treasure was built in Paris in 1859, before being dismantled, packaged up and boxed into 1265 parcels, and then shipped by boat to its island in the Pacific. It is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world, now planted in the biggest lagoon in the world. You can visit it if you’re willing to climb its 247 steps. This is the price to pay to be able to feast your eyes on a simply stunning panorama of the barrier reef and its incredible natural marine reserve.
25 December 2017▸26 December 2017 – At seaArrival 25/12/2017. Departure 26/12/2017.
27 December 2017 – Bay Of IslandsArrival 27/12/2017 late morning. Departure 27/12/2017 evening.
On the east coast of the North Island, the Bay of Islands promises an incredible journey into the origins of the ﾓland of the long white cloudﾔ. Russell, the first harbour city founded in New Zealand by Europeans, is your entry-point into this corner of paradise. Among whitewashed houses and gorgeous gardens, Russell offers a gentle, romantic atmosphere. A few traces of its past remain, such as Christ Church, the oldest church in the country. Shimmering waters highly prized by local fishermen, beautiful beaches and wild nature make visiting this New Zealand town a picture postcard experience.
28 December 2017 – AucklandArrival 28/12/2017 early morning. Departure 28/12/2017 early evening.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest, most populated and busiest city. Located on an isthmus linking the peninsula of Northland to the expansive North Island, it seems to float between land and sea. It is one of the few cities in the world to have two separate harbours : Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and Waitemata Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. You will understand why Auckland is known as the city of sails when you see the forest of masts in the marina. The 328 metre-high Sky Tower offers splendid views of the city. Surrounded by dormant volcanoes such as Mt Eden, Auckland is noted for its abundant nature and magnificent black-sand beaches. A blend of Maori, European and Asian cultures give the city a vibrant atmosphere.
29 December 2017 – TaurangaArrival 29/12/2017 early morning. Departure 29/12/2017 evening.
Located to the north of Rotorua, Tauranga stretches the length of the Bay of Plenty, sheltered from the ocean by the island of Matakana. This coastal city boasts a flourishing economy thanks to its port, and is a pleasant and pretty town with a peaceful, relaxed feel. The seafront area is contemporary and lively, dotted with cafés and restaurants. The town centre reveals more picturesque charms, while the surrounding area is packed full of natural delights. Travel on to the town of Rotorua to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: a fantastic opportunity to experience an absolutely exceptional geothermal phenomenon.
30 December 2017 – At seaArrival 30/12/2017. Departure 30/12/2017.
31 December 2017 – WellingtonArrival 31/12/2017 early morning. Departure 31/12/2017 late afternoon.
Crowned with gentle green hills, Wellington harbour is located in the far south of North Island. This city offers a charming pell-mell of traditional and modern cultures, bestowing on the New Zealand capital, a unique atmosphere, at once friendly and avant-guard. Where some sites, like the large National Te Papa Tongarewa museum, reflect the city’s Maori past, others, like the many cafés and restaurants, affirm the inhabitants’ incredible lust for life.
1 January 2018 – AkaroaArrival 01/01/2018 early morning. Departure 01/01/2018 late afternoon.
Set on the east coast of South Island, Christchurch is New Zealandﾒs second-biggest city. You can soak up its easy-going atmosphere in one of the many parks and gardens that give Christchurch its nickname ﾓthe garden cityﾔ, or dally a while in Cathedral Square to see how the city is transforming itself after the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Attractions such as the International Antarctic Centre and Christchurch Gondola ride are as popular as ever, while pop-up cafes, the Cardboard Cathedral and community art projects showcase the citizensﾒ resilience. The beautiful port of Akaroa, where ships dock, is about 90 minutesﾒ drive from Christchurch on the Banks Peninsula
2 January 2018 – At seaArrival 02/01/2018. Departure 02/01/2018.
3 January 2018 – Sailing in the Milford SoundArrival 03/01/2018. Departure 03/01/2018.
Milford Sound fjord is among one of the most beautiful natural sites in New Zealand. So much beauty will quite simply take your breath away. Located on the south-west coast of South Island, in the Fiorldland National Park, this sumptuous inlet carved out by glaciers advances over at least 15 kilometres inland, in the Southern Alps. Majestic cliffs seem to surge out of the dark waters, rising several hundred metres high: an abrupt relief from where impressive waterfalls cascade.
3 January 2018 – Sailing Doubtful SoundArrival 03/01/2018. Departure 03/01/2018.
Referred to as the Sound of Silence, there is a secluded serenity that surrounds Doubtful Sound in contrast with the better-known Milford Sound. Lieutenant James Cook named 'Doubtful Harbour' in 1770 as he was uncertain if it was navigable under sail. Doubtful Sound is the deepest of the fiords with a maximum depth of 421 m. It contains three distinct 'arms' and several outstanding waterfalls in the area from Deep Cove to the open ocean. Your ship will spend time navigating around Secretary Island through both Thompson and Doubtful Sounds. You will enjoy the spectacular scenery from the outer decks.
4 January 2018 – Sailing in Dusky SoundArrival 04/01/2018. Departure 04/01/2018.
Dusky Sound is one of the most isolated fjords in Fiordland National Park. This huge, protected natural zone situated in the south-west quarter of New Zealand’s South Island is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The sheer cliffs, waterfalls, shimmering lakes and primitive forests here are each more beautiful than the next. These spectacular landscapes sculpted by successive glaciations are a source of endless wonder. In 1773, the British navigator James Cook spent a few weeks at Dusky Sound, as demonstrated by a plaque that can be seen at Astronomer’s Point. During your visit, observe the richness of the local wildlife: cormorants, seagulls, New Zealand fur seals, but also Fiordland crested penguins, a rare and endemic species.
DunedinDisembarkation 05/01/2018 at 08H00 .
Dunedin is New Zealand's oldest city and is often referred to as the Edinburgh of New Zealand. This city of the south, wears its Scottish heritage with pride. The city contains some of the best preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture in the Southern Hemisphere. The picturesque Silverpeaks hinterland to the North West provides a picturesque backdrop and The Otago Peninsula, which lies within the city boundaries, has internationally renowned wildlife reserves, including the only mainland breeding colony of Northern Royal Albatross.
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.
Pre/Post & Overlands
Before your cruise
After your cruise
** Prices per person, based on double occupancy