Greenland of Great Explorers
* Subject to availability.
- Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with your naturalist guides.
- Hiking opportunity.
- Exploring the east coast of Greenland and its pristine territories once trodden by the first French explorers.
- Visiting traditional villages and meeting the Inuit people.
- The scenery: fjords, rugged mountains, glaciers, icebergs, wild tundra, sheer cliffs and the polar ice cap.
- The wildlife: polar bears, walruses, Arctic terns, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and hares, belugas, Mink whales and orcas.
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
Longyearbyen, SpitsbergenEmbarkation 12/07/2019 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 12/07/2019 at 18H00 .
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.
13 July 2019 – At seaArrival 13/07/2019. Departure 13/07/2019.
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.
14 July 2019 – Jan Mayen Island, SvalbardArrival 14/07/2019. Departure 14/07/2019.
The island of Jan Mayen, belonging to Norway, lies hidden off Greenland’s coastlines, lost between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean. This small piece of land is inhabited by only a handful of Norwegian meteorologists. Tongues of ice descend from its volcanic summit, which culminates at 2,227 metres and is covered with a thick glacial coat. These tongues join the sea, between ranges of black volcanic rocks at times tinged with red. If the sky is clement, you will have the chance to glimpse the summit, decked out in magnificent light. The visit of a small fin whale will perhaps enable you to complete this memorable picture.
15 July 2019 – IsikajiaArrival 15/07/2019. Departure 15/07/2019.
To the north of Scoresby Sund fjord, Isikajia perfectly illustrates the impact of global warming in Greenland. Located at the tip of Liverpool Land, this ancient peninsula covered with glaciers has in fact become with the melting of the ice, an island of alpine relief, completely detached from the continent. Therefore, this new island still doesn’t appear on maps!
16 July 2019 – RodefjordArrival 16/07/2019. Departure 16/07/2019.
Rodefjord is a sound located at the end of the huge network of fjords known as Scoresby Sund, near the ice cap. Aboard your Zodiac®, set off to discover the iceberg cemetery filled with old blueish ice. It presents a sublime contrast with the red cliffs, a delight for photographers. This fjord, a jewel of Scoresby Sund, promises a moment of absolutely fabulous sailing!
17 July 2019 – IttoqqortoormiitArrival 17/07/2019. Departure 17/07/2019.
From your ship, the small red, yellow and blue specks become clearer as you get closer. The houses of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated town in Greenland, sport colourful façades, as if they want to stand out better from the ice that blocks access to the place for nine months of the year. Located at the entrance to Scoresby Sund, the widest network of fjords in the world, this village created in 1925 is today home to a little over 400 inhabitants. They survive there thanks to hunting (reindeer, birds, bears, musk oxen, walruses, whales, seals…), fishing and tourism. A port of call reminiscent of the end of the world.
18 July 2019 – Blosseville CoastArrival 18/07/2019. Departure 18/07/2019.
Aboard your ship, follow in the footsteps of Jules Poret de Blosseville, a French explorer and sailor. In 1833, aboard La Lilloise, he set off to discover this isolated and unexplored part of eastern Greenland and gave French names to various sites on the coast. The adventure probably has an unfortunate outcome, since the crew was never found. This uninhabited territory, which now bears his name, lies to the south of Scoresby Sund. Surrounded by ice, icebergs and pieces of pack ice, Blosseville Coast is one of these wild and hard-to-reach places that very few people are lucky enough to explore.
19 July 2019 – Ammassalik IslandArrival 19/07/2019. Departure 19/07/2019.
Still almost unknown just a century ago, the east coast of Greenland remains the most authentic and majestic region. Here, the alpine mountains merge intimately with the sea, while the fjords are adorned with high snow-capped peaks and drifting icebergs. Follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas?, which set off with its crew to discover Ammassalik, a small island of primitive and wild beauty where the Inuit people chose to live. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver coloured fish, whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.
20 July 2019 – QingminguartalikArrival 20/07/2019. Departure 20/07/2019.
Welcome to a small protected bay on the eastern coast of Greenland, around 200 km south of Tasiilaq, for a date with history and ice. During this port of call, you will have the opportunity to visit the remains ofold peat houses from the Thule civilisation. Then, after sailing through the ice, you will reach the starting point of the very first crossing of the Greenland ice cap, led in 1888 by Fridtjof Nansen, the great Norwegian polar explorer. A magical place where you can climb the gentle slopes of the ice cap’s first foothills to better appreciate its huge size.
20 July 2019 – Nansen HarborArrival 20/07/2019. Departure 20/07/2019.
Travelling to Nansen Harbor is the guarantee of a voyage back in time and will enable you to discover a superb bay, into which the ice cap plunges directly. Arriving in these parts, you will immediately understand why Fridtjof Nansen chose this place for his ice cap crossing in August 1888. Indeed, it is particularly easy to access the cap from here and you will certainly be able to follow in some of this great Norwegian explorer’s footsteps. A unique experience, one that will definitely delight the most adventurous among you.
21 July 2019 – SkjoldungenArrival 21/07/2019. Departure 21/07/2019.
Discover Skjoldungen Island on the south-east coast of Greenland. This uninhabited land boasts magnificent landscapes that are sure to dazzle you. The island is surrounded by a stunning fjord, a distinctive feature of which is its double entrance: it forms a bend before joining the sea on the other side. Mountains, glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, tundra and willow forests make up the beautiful scenery which you will be able to admire more closely when you land here. At this port of call, surrounded by wild and pristine nature, it is quite common to see bearded seals, orcas, but also birds such as the common redpoll, the northern wheatear, or the common raven.
22 July 2019 – Prins Christian SundArrival 22/07/2019. Departure 22/07/2019.
Your ship glides silently towards the Greenland coast, in a setting punctuated by pointed peaks and majestic glaciers… You are on the verge of crossing the Prins Christian Sund, a narrow channel that stretches out and zigzags over some one hundred kilometres between Greenland’s south-east and south-west. Fall under the spell of the primitive beauty of these unique landscapes, including rocky cliffs and waterfalls that are fed by the ice sheet and plunge into the icy waters. Here, bearded seals love to lie on the floating ice to soak up the sunshine. If you are lucky, you may get to witness an aurora borealis, a stunning light show put on by the polar night…
23 July 2019 – Narsaq FjordArrival 23/07/2019. Departure 23/07/2019.
From your ship, discover the town of Narsaq. You will be dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding icebergs − large masses of ice in different shapes and shifting colours. Dominated by lush mountains, this small town is typical of Greenland and is located in the heart of a wonderful natural landscape. The multicoloured house facades and the glaciers with their myriad shades of blue offer a magical setting, conducive to wonderment.
24 July 2019 – NuukArrival 24/07/2019. Departure 24/07/2019.
When Erik Le Rouge, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys an historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the Winter months.
25 July 2019 – EvighedsfjordenArrival 25/07/2019. Departure 25/07/2019.
Your ship glides slowly along the water towards the west coast of Greenland, to enter Evighedsfjorden, just a few kilometres south of Kangerlussuaq. Evighedsfjorden means “the fjord of Eternity”, and for good reason: just when you think you’ve reached the end of this stretch of sea measuring over 100 kilometres in length, it seems to go on forever, as though to bring even more pleasure to those sailing in it. The spectacular scenery ranges from glaciers to tundra with an abundant flora, and jagged cliffs where numerous bird species have taken up residence. Take the time to observe the white-tailed eagles and the colonies of seagulls and black-legged kittiwakes flying overhead in the area.
KangerlussuaqDisembarkation 26/07/2019 at 07H00 .
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.
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…
Expeditions 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, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. 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 an unusual 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 highly expensive. Without the necessary medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid from with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe 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 calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain and Expedition Leader, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites 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