L'Austral cruise review
Cabins and suites on L'Austral
L'Austral has 132 cabins and suites, mostly on Decks 3 through 6. The majority are "prestige" and "deluxe" staterooms, which measure 200 square feet or 18.5 m² and have small balconies.
Eight "superior" staterooms that lack balconies, but which feature large windows and sofas, are good choices if you're traveling with small children or want to save money.
The ship also has a small number of suites, ranging from "deluxe suites" (about 50 per cent larger than balcony stateroms, with separate bathtub and shower) to "prestige suites" (two adjoining staterooms back to back, with a tub in one of the bathroms and a seating area instead of a bed in one cabin).
If you're a high roller, you can book the "owner's suite" on Deck 2, which has an area of 484 square feet (45 m²), a long balcony, and two bathrooms, with both a shower and a Jacuzzi in the master bath.
We were booked into a prestige stateroom on Deck 5, a few doors behind the bridge. The cabin was smaller than its counterparts on some other luxury ships (such as Silversea's Silver Spirit, which we'd cruised on two months earlier), but it was comfortable and well-equipped. It did have one layout oddity: The toilet was in a separate compartment from the main bathroom.
At first, we thought the separate WC compartment was just a quirk of French taste, like the claustrophobic toilet rooms in many Paris apartments. Upon reflection, however, the design made sense:
The main bathroom features a transparent glass wall with a sliding privacy panel. During L'Austral's Antarctic cruises, when passengers don't want to miss any views of whales or icebergs, being able to shower or brush one's teeth while keeping an eye on the horizon is a plus.
Other observations about L'Austral's cabins:
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Inset photo 2: Compagnie du Ponant/François Lefebvre.
Copyright © 1996-2016 Durant Imboden and Cheryl Imboden.