L’Austral Joins La Compagnie du Ponant

On Tuesday, 26th April 2011, L’Austral, newest cruise ship of La Compagnie du Ponant, was inaugurated in a ceremony that included live music and fireworks in Marseilles, headquarters of La Compagnie du Ponant and its parent company CMA CGM.

During the event, L’Austral was joined by her identical sister Le Boréal for a side-by-side cruise to the Frioul Islands and famous Chateau d’If. A third Compagnie du Ponant ship, Le Levant, joined later in the day and all three ships saluted each other in the port of Marseilles – a truly moving moment. The evening began with a speech in both French and English from Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, ceo and co-founder of the Company.

Veronique Saadé, deputy director general and the Capt Rémi Genevaz of of L’Austral expressed their pride and joy in celebrating the arrival of a fifth ship. Guests then took their places in the gourmet restaurant for an exquisite lyrical dinner, with the presence of the Bel Canto performers, crowned by a “dessert surprise” from the Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini.

The evening continued in the Theatre with a unique show of the Crazy Horse Saloon, and ended with a magnificent display of fireworks in shades of red, gold and silver, visible from the pool decks of L’Austral and her sister ship Le Boréal, introduced in 2010. These ships are very comfortable, sophisticated and were built by Fincantieri in Ancona on a human scale.  Both ships being French-flag, the cuisine is of course tops!

Kevin Griffin from The Cruise People attended the event, as did quite a number of international cruise agents from the UK, Scandinavia and other European countries, as well as France. While agents cruised overnight in Le Boréal, which has now seen a year’s service, journalists and other company guests were accommodated in the brand new L’Austral.

Please call The Cruise People on 020 7723 2450 or email cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk for further information or the latest brochure.